ALBEMARLE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — From the roaring twenties to World War II, to the dot-com boom, one family business has seen it all. And they’re still up and running.
“Well, this is what my family does,” said Benton Dry. “This is what my family does.”
There’s steam, starch, and shirts that all line a complicated labyrinth that’s unsolvable to most unless you’re family.
“Every time we letter a truck or do something, we put on since 1922 because there are not many businesses that have made it that long,” said Mark Dry.
Mark and Benton Dry are brothers.
“You would get that over the years,” laughed Benton. “Well, you’re the ‘dry’ cleaning business. Yeah, we are.”
It’s a joke the Dry brothers have never, ever, ever heard before. That, of course, their family business is dry cleaning
“We going to be in the dry cleaning of business regardless of which business we talk about,” said Benton.
Dun-Rite Dry Cleaners in Albemarle is one of the oldest dry cleaning businesses in North Carolina. It’s unusual, that’s for sure. Mostly only last a few decades. Mark said, his family likely never considered that their business would be around one hundred years when they started in 1922.
“I doubt it. Most companies like this probably run 30-40 years and they sell,” said Mark.
But there’s a secret to lasting a century.
Because even though the clothes and the technology have changed over the decades, one thing hasn’t.
“It was run day-to-day, month-to-month, year-to-year. And everybody gave their all for it,” said Benton.
The two know, it’s not just clothes they’re cleaning. It’s what people spend their lives wearing, their money on, and make memories in.
“It’s my best friends from childhood,” said Theresa Niven, who was picking up her wedding dress. “We grew up together- she said don’t buy a dress, I’ve got two! I tried this one on and it was amazing.”
Even though it’s run by the Dry family, the family treatment extends to everyone.
“Thank you so much!” said Theresa, tearing up.
“We’re not lucky, we’re blessed,” said Benton.
It takes hard work to, to be sure. But cleaning and caring, that is just what the Dry Family does.