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Valsi Cleaners

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Picture taken of Valsi Cleaners located at 59 East State Street in downtown Niles before urban renewal.

Picture taken of Valsi Cleaners located at 59 East State Street in downtown Niles before urban renewal. Dated June 26, 1972 PO1.151

Picture taken of Valsi Cleaners at the corner of North Main Street and Maple Avenue.

Picture taken of Valsi Cleaners at the corner of North Main Street and Maple Avenue. Dated 2013.

Valsi Cleaners

A wave of nostalgia always passes through Niles when a long-time family business closes. Such was the case with the shuttering of Valsi Cleaners on North Main Street last year (2017).

Three Valsi brothers (Ido, Joe and Milo) took over Ford Cleaners on State Street on July 4,1946. Milo had just returned from 30 months oversees with the Coast Guard. He became a self-taught tailor to enhance the cleaning business by using a sewing machine to fix torn seams and make other repairs. At first they kept the Ford name to retain business but finally changed it to Valsi. As business thrived, they opened a second store in Howland in 1959 with the clothes being shuttled to Niles for cleaning.

As time went on, Ido retired and Joe was bought out leaving Milo to run the cleaners. His son Bob eventually joined his father. By that time the cleaners had moved from its previous two State Street locations ( it had moved across the street in 1954) to the corner of North Main and Maple Street due to urban renewal in the mid 70's. This is where it operated until its closing. Milo once told the local newspaper that State Street "used to be the busiest little road in Niles. There was probably more business in one block than any other part of the city. It was quite a little area back in the good old days of the 40's, 50's and 60's." There was so much business that there was not enough parking to accommodate the customers.

Valsi was the first to use the new perchlorethylene cleaner. This enabled one-day and then one-hour service. Hems, rips and zippers were mended in addition to the clothes being cleaned. Often clothes were returned in better shape than when they were dropped off.

Valsi Cleaners was a very active participant in the community. It sponsored many local sports teams and leagues for years on end. Joseph and Milo Valsi were honored for their commitment to education and contributions to the community by being named 1995 Men of the Year by the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame Mahoning Chapter.

Their key to success was always "quality and service to the public." Thank you Valsi Cleaners. Thelma Snyder

 


 




 

 

 
 


 


 

 

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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