By: Jane Ma
If you have been to the Waverly Coin Laundry recently, then you may have found yourself taking home free bread and baked goods in addition to your clean laundry.
The laundromat provides the food for anyone, even if they aren’t customers. People help themselves to perishable goods in the “food bank” section of the business in front of the change machines.
Holt resident Mark Trumpie started the family laundry on 310 South Waverly in Lansing Township seven years ago. He takes pride in what he provides to his customers. That includes wi-fi, refreshments and free detergent on Wednesdays.
“I believe that if you treat your customers right with good customer service, they will appreciate that and keep coming back instead of going to other places,” he said.
The food bank started eight months ago thanks to Trumpie’s mother, Sharon Trumpie. A volunteer at the Holt Community Food Bank, she saw an opportunity to rescue a large amount of perishable food that was going to waste every week.
“The Holt Community Food Bank only distributes food on Thursdays. The perishable items collected over the weekends could not be held fresh until the Thursday distributions,” she said.
As most of these perishables were donated from the Kroger in Holt, Sharon Trumpie arranged with the Holt Kroger to save these perishables by picking them up on the weekends and bringing them to her son’s laundry business.
“The food provided at Waverly Coin Laundry is there for anybody to take, whether you are in need of some food assistance or anyone you know could use the help,” Mark Trumpie said. “ Feel free to help yourself to what you or anyone you know could use. As a courtesy to others, all we ask is that people only take what they need because we like to share and we appreciate it when others do the same.”
At the bakery and bread sections of the Holt Kroger, products marked to sell by the next day are pulled and marked down to a manager’s special clearance. Whatever doesn’t sell the day after being put on clearance is then collected and picked up by various Holt area churches, the Holt Community Food Bank and the Waverly Coin Laundry.
“Long before I became bakery manager at the Holt Kroger over eight years ago, we have been donating our breads and baked goods to a number of different places that provide food assistance to the community,” said Stacey Lynne Speelmas. “This is a good thing. Otherwise lots of the food we make would just be thrown away when it is still good to eat, especially during the holidays when we tend to overproduce.”
After word spread of the food bank at the laundry, both customers and non-customers in the Lansing Township area began stopping in to pick up the breads and the baked goods.
“I came in this morning to wash my sheets and pick up some bread for my grandkids, said Lansing Township resident Alma Holt. “I come here about once a week to take food after I do my laundry. I think that this food bank is great because even though I don’t need the bread, I have eight grandkids in Lansing that I know could use it.”
“Sometimes customers ask me how much an item in our food bank costs and I love it when I get to tell them that it’s free,” said Waverly Laundry employee and son of owner, Jordan Trumpie. “The smiles on their faces are priceless and it feels good to know that we’re helping out the community.”