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Swanson's Cleaners-Delivery
Swanson's Cleaners is a locally owned and operated dry cleaners started by Salvin Swanson in 1944. Sal, as he was called, grew up on a dairy farm in Michigan. When he was old enough, he left the farm and headed down to Santa Fe, New Mexico to work in his uncle's cleaners (White Swan Laundry). His aptitude and ambition gained him frequent promotions. Within a few years he was managing the place all the while scrimping and saving his earnings for the future. Within six years he purchased his very own cleaners. During that time, Sal met and married his wife Margaret.

The War broke out so Sal and his wife headed to Oakland where he helped build war ships as a pipefitter. When the need for warships slowed, Sal moved to Sacramento, where his brother was a manager for JC Penny's. In 1944 Sal borrowed money from his relatives and purchased a failing cleaners, renaming it Swanson's Cleaners.



To fill his small facility, Sal opened up his first of many stores – across from Vic's in Land Park and at 42nd & H in East Sac. Sal grew his business to fill the strong demand of dry cleaning. By 1960 Sal had to move his undersized facility to a desolate area surrounded by baseball fields and chicken coops. That area is Arden Way & Howe Ave. Swanson's new facility was the largest West of the Mississippi (there was only one larger and that was in New York). At its peak, in the mid 1960's, the Arden facility was filled by 125 stores (large and small).

Roger Swanson, Sal's son graduated from UC Berkeley with an undergraduate degree in business and Sacramento State with an MBA. Roger learned the cleaning business from the ground up as a kid. He worked his way up the ladder at Swanson's and was the Vice President when Sal died while on a fishing trip. Roger took over the reins and successfully guided Swanson's Cleaners through the "big 80's" and the tougher 90's. Realizing that the demand for dry cleaning was falling (polyester in the 1970's, casual Friday in the 80's, casual every day in the 90's, cheap imports in the 2000's), Roger started to downsize Swanson's.

Steve Swanson, Roger's oldest son graduated from UC Berkeley with an undergraduate degree in economics. Steve had not been encouraged to enter the family business, but when he graduated from college (1991), the job outlook was bleak at best. Steve accepted a short term project to select and implement a computer system in the stores. Steve, being the optimist thought this would take a month or two. In order to better understand the needs of the stores, Steve dove head first into the management of the largest and most important store Swanson's had – the Arden way store. In 2003 Roger retired from Swanson's to enjoy wood working, metal working, and the great outdoors. Steve has run Swanson's cleaners ever since.

The history of Swanson's would not be complete without recognizing all the hard working men and women who have made Swanson's the company it is today. The Swanson family thanks you!