Fred Ortiz sells six College Hill Cleaners

UPDATED — Fred Ortiz has sold all of his College Hill Cleaners stores.

“After 39 years, I thought it was just enough dry cleaning for me.”

He started in the business working for someone else in 1977 and then opened his own College Hill Cleaners in 1988.

His first store was at 4618 E. Central. At the chain’s peak, Ortiz had nine stores, seven of which were on the east side along with ones in Derby and Andover.

Even as he expanded beyond College Hill, Ortiz decided to keep that name.

“I had such a good reputation there at the central location,” he says.

Bradley Fair was an early location.

“I was the second tenant at Bradley Fair,” Ortiz says.

In the last several years, he downsized to six stores.

“The dry cleaning industry just changed tremendously,” Ortiz says.

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In the Bag Cleaners to open 16th store

WICHITA — Dave Coyle is working on his 16th In the Bag Cleaners location.

He plans to open near the northwest corner of Central and Maize in November.

“We kind of jumped on this because it’s going to sit in front of that new Walmart,” Coyle says.

This will make his fifth west-side store.

“It really filled kind of a hole right in the middle of west Wichita for us,” Coyle says. “We didn’t have anything in that big 67212 zip code.”

There aren’t any similar holes on the east side, he says.

“This gives us a really good coverage for Wichita.”

Next, Coyle is turning his attention to Hutchinson, McPherson and Salina, where he doesn’t currently have any stores.

He hopes to have three or four new ones in those cities within the next year.

Coyle says there’s not necessarily growing dry cleaning business, but that’s not keeping his business from growing.

“We’re just working hard to try to take more market share.”