PALMER — Idita-Wash laundromat owners were joined by the Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce and other city officials, including Palmer Mayor Edna DeVries for a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the new family-run business’ arrival to the downtown shopping district Aug. 12.

Idita-Wash co-owner Nancy Chavez said they officially opened to the public April 16 and they’ve enjoyed acclimating to the community and this new beginning for her family. She said this is the first time she or her husband, Perry Chavel, have run a small business and it’s been an exciting leap for everyone.

“It’s actually a lot of fun we get along really well. Sometimes it feels like we live here but we’re all still here together,” Chavez said with a laugh. “As a family, we’ve always done our laundry together… It’s like a family time kind of thing, like a never-ending chore.”

Chavez said that she grew up in the Mat-Su Valley and she’s glad to be a part of the Palmer Chamber after four years of preparation, finally being able to operate a “classic laundromat” with a safe, clean, and inviting atmosphere.

“I’m liking Palmer and it’s working pretty well. Palmer’s that type of community that you can be a part of,” Chavez said.

Palmer is the starting point for future growth, according to Chavez. She said one of their main long-term goals is to establish several locations across the Valley, including Willow where her parents reside. She said filling that need is the original reason why she set out on this particular path and looks forward to growing their small business with people across the Valley for years to come.

Idita-Wash currently features 12 washers and 14 dryers. Chavez said their biggest washers can wash king-size comforters and sleeping bags. She said they routinely clean the machines throughout the day.

In addition to regular laundry services, Idita-Wash customers can utilize onsite showers and a special pick-up service where staff wash, fold, and dry items for customers. Chaves said this pick-up service is proving to be pretty popular, particularly for those looking to save time.

“Our biggest goal is to be a clean place to clean your laundry— and then, of course, remain friendly and helpful— somewhere you actually want to go,” Chavez said.

Perry said this is a fun, new adventure outside of his experience working on the North Slope.

“This is awesome. It’s definitely an experience, something I’m not used to doing for sure,” Perry said with a laugh. “I think Palmer is an awesome community to go actually starting out. It’s that small-town feel.”

DeVries said the ribbon-cutting ceremony was a happy occasion where they could welcome another new business to the community.

“Keep Palmer growing,” DeVries said.

Palmer Chamber Executive Director, Ailis Vann noted that this occasion was all the sweeter knowing that their community continues to thrive, not only retaining long-established business but adding new places offering new services in spite of the pandemic.

“It just makes me so happy that our downtown is not boarded up, and that shows the strength of the community and the dedication that we all have keeping this place wonderful,” Vann said. “Palmer’s needed a laundromat for a long time… It’s a community staple. It’s like a cafe, it’s like the place they know they can go to talk to other people.”

Idita-Wash is located within a plaza in downtown Palmer at 1150 South Colony Way Unit 9. For more information, call 907-745-7111 or visit iditawash.com.

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at jacob.mann@frontiersman.com

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