Simply Service Since 1912
It has been that way ever since Robert C. Beam, Sr. and his wife, Mae, purchased New Method Laundry, located at Johnson Street and South Central Avenue in Staunton, Virginia. In those days, a horse-drawn carriage traveled door-to-door picking up shirt collars and cuffs to be washed, starched, hand ironed, and returned to the customer. The company purchased its first truck in the mid-twenties to deliver clean laundry and linens to the cadets and officers of a nearby military academy.
Under the leadership of Bobby, who succeeded his father in 1944, Staunton Steam Laundry continued to expand. During the forties, dry cleaning was added to the company’s services and by the end of the fifties, the delivery system and customer base had more than doubled. In the sixties, the company rounded out its catalog with uniform and mat rentals.
During their teenage years, Tom and Lee Beam, grandchildren of the founder, began to learn the business. Before entering college, Lee worked part-time in the office, and, after graduation, began training in each department to prepare for her role as production manager. Tom began in high school by washing the trucks on Saturdays. Whenever school was closed because of snow, he would help the regular drivers on their routes.
Tom remembers those days fondly, “My father would tell me, ‘Our customers rely on us even when the weather is bad.’ We grew up knowing the customers and the folks that worked here with our dad and grandfather, and we still know each and every customer and employee. What’s special about Staunton Steam is that we’re family, and we care about how satisfied the customer is and how well everyone’s doing his or her job.”
Family owned. Family operated. Customer and community oriented. Staunton Steam Laundry’s motto “Simply Service” is as true today as it was in the very beginning.