The drama unfolds for LADAs newcomer

The term ‘family business’ hardly does justice to the rapidly developing story of Magee’s Dry Cleaners in the North West.

For a start, this is a truly 21st century family probably worthy of one of those fly-on-the- wall TV series, or even better considering what they do, a soap.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, and instead turn the ‘cameras’ back to 2023’s LADAS (the awards which celebrate all that is excellent in the laundry and drycleaning industry) when Magee’s, based in Widnes, was deservedly named ‘Best Newcomer’.

Clearly our judges can spot a winner when they see it as less than a year after launch the business has flourished, and a second outlet has just opened. It’s at Hunt’s Cross, a suburb halfway between Widnes and Liverpool centre, and marks out the intentions of what could well become a family empire.

The new premises were spotted by owners Luke Chilvers and his husband Jack Magee, who live nearby and could see that a former Cash 4 Clothes outlet was ideally placed for the first step in their expansion plans. “We also wanted to give something back to the community as like so many others it was losing that feel of lots of useful little businesses,” says Chilvers.

You still must make a living beyond good intentions and the Hunt’s Cross site was ideally placed near a crossroads – and with no other drycleaners between their first shop and the city.

The aim is to provide the same level of truly personal service that customers of the Widnes premises already receive, from pensioners enjoying a chat alongside getting their weekly wash done cheaply to ‘blue light’ workers who also get a discount. As well as service washes and drycleaning, they handle bedding, curtains, sports kits and wedding and prom dresses, with collection and drop off available together with 24-hour turnaround if required. Jack Magee and his family operate other businesses, one of which is North West Property Maintenance and Management Ltd, so that took care of the Hunt’s Cross shopfitting. The Green Laundry was the main machinery supplier, and the new shop now contains Primus and JLA equipment.

With the business acumen dealt with, we can turn to that family. The two men heading up Magee’s are both military veterans and met via Tinder. Chilvers only has partial hearing courtesy of defective ear protectors on a shooting range and was officially discharged last year. Then there’s Jack’s dad, Geoff, himself ex-Royal Navy, and with his own kitchen and bathroom fitting business, which is where all this started. No one in the family had drycleaning experience, but during work on the failing Widnes shop persuaded themselves to buy the premises and turn it around.

The ‘storyline’ is completed by three hardworking female characters – Caz, Keeley and Kim – with the promise of more to come as they hope to take on two part-timers as the Hunt’s Cross business establishes itself.

And that’s just the opening episode as the Magee team will be keeping an eye out for new potential premises to add to the portfolio… they just might need a few more ‘family members’ to join a business proving that drycleaners with the right approach can thrive in our towns and cities.

We also wanted to give something back to the community as like so many others it was losing that feel of lots of useful little businesses

The Magee’s team celebrate success as ‘Best Newcomer’ at The LADAS

Luke, Caz and Jack outside their new shop just before it opened – and we’re delighted to see that LADAS award displayed so prominently!

The term ‘family business’ hardly does justice to the rapidly developing story of Magee’s Dry Cleaners in the North West.

For a start, this is a truly 21st century family probably worthy of one of those fly-on-the- wall TV series, or even better considering what they do, a soap.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, and instead turn the ‘cameras’ back to 2023’s LADAS (the awards which celebrate all that is excellent in the laundry and drycleaning industry) when Magee’s, based in Widnes, was deservedly named ‘Best Newcomer’.

Clearly our judges can spot a winner when they see it as less than a year after launch the business has flourished, and a second outlet has just opened. It’s at Hunt’s Cross, a suburb halfway between Widnes and Liverpool centre, and marks out the intentions of what could well become a family empire.

The new premises were spotted by owners Luke Chilvers and his husband Jack Magee, who live nearby and could see that a former Cash 4 Clothes outlet was ideally placed for the first step in their expansion plans. “We also wanted to give something back to the community as like so many others it was losing that feel of lots of useful little businesses,” says Chilvers.

You still must make a living beyond good intentions and the Hunt’s Cross site was ideally placed near a crossroads – and with no other drycleaners between their first shop and the city.

The aim is to provide the same level of truly personal service that customers of the Widnes premises already receive, from pensioners enjoying a chat alongside getting their weekly wash done cheaply to ‘blue light’ workers who also get a discount. As well as service washes and drycleaning, they handle bedding, curtains, sports kits and wedding and prom dresses, with collection and drop off available together with 24-hour turnaround if required. Jack Magee and his family operate other businesses, one of which is North West Property Maintenance and Management Ltd, so that took care of the Hunt’s Cross shopfitting. The Green Laundry was the main machinery supplier, and the new shop now contains Primus and JLA equipment.

With the business acumen dealt with, we can turn to that family. The two men heading up Magee’s are both military veterans and met via Tinder. Chilvers only has partial hearing courtesy of defective ear protectors on a shooting range and was officially discharged last year. Then there’s Jack’s dad, Geoff, himself ex-Royal Navy, and with his own kitchen and bathroom fitting business, which is where all this started. No one in the family had drycleaning experience, but during work on the failing Widnes shop persuaded themselves to buy the premises and turn it around.

The ‘storyline’ is completed by three hardworking female characters – Caz, Keeley and Kim – with the promise of more to come as they hope to take on two part-timers as the Hunt’s Cross business establishes itself.

And that’s just the opening episode as the Magee team will be keeping an eye out for new potential premises to add to the portfolio… they just might need a few more ‘family members’ to join a business proving that drycleaners with the right approach can thrive in our towns and cities.

The Magee’s team celebrate success as ‘Best Newcomer’ at The LADAS

Luke, Caz and Jack outside their new shop just before it opened – and we’re delighted to see that LADAS award displayed so prominently!

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