After more than 30 years serving the community found a new way to provide an even more significant service than affordable prices on dry cleaning.
They made a decision at which most businesses would cringe. They started offering their services for free. Not for everyone, but for the many local residents who need clean and tailored business suits, pretty dresses and warm winter jackets.
“We were spending all this money on advertising and never got results,” said Domenice Vople, the second-generation owner of the store on South Street in Peekskill.
“So we went to be more involved with the community, and we are getting a return in that sense. The community responds to it and it gives a good feeling to the business.”
Volpe started to do free tailoring for “Dapper Dons and Darling Debbies,” through an African American Men of Westchester program by that name, about seven years ago. He provides free cleaning and tailoring for high school students on their prom outfits.
The Peekskill Youth Bureau finds the kids who are in need of such a service and Volpe turns the donations into the perfect prom outfit for the kids. He also helps with clothing for commencement ceremonies and other events for which a student may lack the proper attire.
“Domenic has been a great partner in this endeavor because, quite frankly, alterations can be expensive and he provides the donated formal dresses to the girls so they can attend the prom,” said Youth Bureau Director Valerie Swan.
In addition to his involvement with that program Volpe works with Commander of the Purple Heart Willie Nazario to collect jackets for veterans at the VA hospital in Montrose. He has been collecting coats during the winter for 20 years, but recently began encouraging costumers to bring coats in year-round so he has enough when the cold starts to move in.
He also collects food for Fred’s Pantry at the Jan Peek Homeless Shelter and helps Jan Peek residents with outfits when they have to go to court or job interviews and need a suit.
This winter, he is involved with a Toys 4 Tots drive through the Salvation Army.
People from the community donate more and more every year. He says people bring in leftovers from estate sales, clothes they had stored in their attics or coats they have not warn in a while.
While Volpe made the decision to expand his work with the community as a business decision, he is happy to be helping people in need.
“The proudest I am is for the kids who go to graduation. I think that is very special,” he said.
To donate clothing or shoes stop by at 104 Depew Street. Read their hours