It was 1930, during the heart of the Depression, when Joseph DeLora, Sr. decided to take a risk and open DeLuxe Cleaners, Inc. It was probably one of the most difficult times in our history to start a business and actually succeed, yet that is what he did! He did so by creating high quality standards for the finest drycleaning and shirt laundry in town. Today, 80 years and a third generation later, Joseph DeLora’s original vision remains the focus of the business. During his first ten years in business, he worked very hard to build a reputation as a quality drycleaner. He knew that if he tended to every detail on every garment, the customer would always return, and they did! However, Joseph was very concerned about an underlying threat that affected every American, the atomic bomb. Joseph DeLora Sr. had four children, many friends and family, and a DeLuxe family of employees to worry about. One day, he decided to build a room on the DeLuxe property that would act as a bomb shelter to provide safety to all those he loved. He hired an architect and built a vault with 18” brick walls and 12” thick concrete ceiling and floors. The vault was built with sound ventilation using the finest materials available. Thankfully, this shelter was never needed. After some time, Joseph decided to transform this structure into a state-of-the-art refrigerated storage vault for fur garments. He only had to add a refrigeration system. It is seventy years later, and that same room is still a storage vault for fur and leather goods. Years later after returning home from the Korean War, Joseph’s eldest son, Patrick DeLora, Sr., took over the daily operations of DeLuxe Cleaners, Inc. Like his father, Patrick wanted to offer more services to the customer. In 1955, he decided to diversify; he opened up a Formal Wear Department for both tuxedo rentals and sales. This department did extremely well and is still one of the leading tuxedo shops in the Northern New Jersey area. Robert Genardi, one of Patrick’s nephews, now manages this department.
A few years after the Tuxedo Department was opened, Patrick DeLora, Sr. took another risk and opened up a Drapery Cleaning Department. He purchased a very expensive finishing machine called the Adjust-a-Drape process that would guarantee even hemlines with a soft decorator fold for pleated draperies, which were very popular at this time. He immediately hired a drapery installer and offered a full takedown and re-hang service. This was a brilliant risk and really paid off! Fortunately, during this time the drapery department was doing very well. However, the 70’s were probably the most difficult time in the drycleaning industry, due to the popularity of polyester and double knits. Patrick Sr. knew he had to run a tight ship to carry him though these years. Fortunately, different fabrics and styles made their way into the fashion industry and business boomed once again in the 80’s.
After years of hard work and raising five children, one of Patrick’s sons, Patrick Jr. entered the family business after he received his business degree. Years later, one of his daughter’s, Linda, also entered the business after working years for corporate Amercia. Linda has a degree in business and a Masters degree in Marketing Research. These siblings teamed up together and decided in the early 90’s to start a VIP pick-up and delivery service. This service allowed customers the convenience of their service without ever leaving their homes. Today, their pick-up and delivery service covers northern New Jersey. In addition to this service, they also introduced shoe & repair service, a laundry service, wedding gown restoration and preservation, and much more.
Still today, Patrick Sr. is involved in the business as an invaluable mentor to his children. Unfortunately, the founder of DeLuxe, Joseph DeLora, Sr., passed away in 1996 at the age of 94. His memories will always remain at DeLuxe and his philosophy will always be the forefront of the business.