Dimitrios “Jimmy” Skafidas arrived in the U.S. from Greece in 1967 looking to pursue the American dream. He had spent many years in the merchant marines traveling the world and decided to finally settle down. Jimmy worked odd jobs around Boston from machine shops to a bowling alley waiter to a painter. Roughly two years later he met a gentleman through a mutual acquaintance who owned a dry cleaners. The dry cleaning business intrigued Jimmy and he eventually asked the man if he could work under him as an apprentice, for no salary. The man agreed and a year later, full of hard work and arduous times, Jimmy was ready to venture off on his own. The man he worked for appreciated his effort and hard work so much he paid Jimmy in full for his year’s work.
In 1969 Jimmy found himself ready to become self employed and own his part of the American dream. His one problem was he had very little in the form of a down payment to buy a business. He approached his fairly new in-laws and asked for a loan. With his in-laws life savings in hand and his new bride Ethel by his side they put a down payment on their first store in Roslindale Massachusetts.
Jimmy and Ethel worked over 80 hours a week in order to survive and prosper at their new life as business owners. Many successful years passed and with this they were able to bring many of their family members from Greece to the U.S. Jimmy and Ethel aided all their family members in starting their own dry cleaners and at one point there were over 20 cleaners in the family. Since that time Jimmy and Ethel have opened five other stores all of which were very successful.
In 1989 Jimmy and Ethel decided to embark on their sixth store and found an ideal location on route 30 in Framingham. It was an older office building that needed some work but it had great potential. With a blank canvas they remodeled the building and invested in the top of the line machinery to make Jimmy’s dream cleaners. In May of 1989 Royal Cleaners and Tailors opened its doors. In 1994 they expanded even further and built a dedicated laundry production area. This expansion gave Royal Cleaners unparalleled production capabilities which was key to keeping prices down and generate a speedy turn-around time.
In 1996 the second generation of the Skafidas family, Jimmy and Ethel’s son Steve took over the helm of operations. Steve Skafidas worked at Royal Cleaners as a teen and now was ready to bring his parents business in the 21ST century. Steve has added many conveniences to the cleaners including a fully computerized system and home and office delivery. Steve is dedicated to his craft and is always around the store helping customer’s needs and keeping Royal Cleaners & Tailors the leader in dry cleaning and tailoring in the Metrowest area.
Dimitrios “Jimmy” Skafidas passed away on August 10, 2009. He will be missed by all who knew him. His son Steve and mom Ethel are still hard at work keeping Royal Cleaners and Tailors the #1 cleaners and tailors in Metrowest.
Thank you and god bless.