Ocean Suds set to spin in Rehoboth

Couple offers commercial linen services
March 14, 2018

The story of Ocean Suds laundromat has its start in 2007 when Drew and Kathy Rash decided to change careers and go into business for themselves.

Other married couples who go into business together may think restaurant or a little retail shop. The Rashes went in another direction: laundromat.

More than a decade later, the couple is set to open their third location, this one on Rehoboth Avenue Extended in Rehoboth Beach.

The new Ocean Suds, Kathy said, will be exclusively for commercial clients, particularly restaurants, vacation rentals, hotels, and bed and breakfasts.

“Anybody who needs linens,” Kathy said of the new facility. Ocean Suds has two other locations, both coin-operated laundromats, in Midway and Long Neck.

“We initially started in Long Neck,” Drew said. “We started getting commercial products in and the commercial started growing. My wife and I sat down and had a conversation and decided this was the best way to go.”

Ocean Suds Rehoboth will be by appointment only, with no walk-in service.

The Rashes have been married 35 years, and when they talk, they pick right up on each other’s sentences.

“A lot of the commercial service is out of the area,” Kathy said. “We have a delivery service and we’re able to turn things over pretty quickly.”

“We’re very customer-oriented,” Drew said. “We sit down and say, ‘What are your needs?’ We’re here seven days a week if you need us. The restaurants don’t stop. The hotels don’t stop on the weekends. We’re here to make their life easier.”

Among their clients are Dogfish Inn in Lewes and several bed and breakfasts.

“Our business is to make sure you have clean and ample supplies. That’s our motto,” Drew said.

“We have a motto?” Kathy asks. “We aim to please.”

Drew spent 25 years working for DuPont in Seaford, and Kathy worked for the YMCA as an office manager. His family convinced him to give up shift work and go into business, but the idea of opening a laundromat was Kathy’s.

“I said, ‘I don’t know anything about it.’ They said, ‘You’ll learn,’ Drew said. “There was a couple things DuPont taught me, and one was to be customer focused. And the other was to work together as a team.”

“He’s very hands-on. There are businesses you can get in to where you just stand back. This is work. And that’s OK,” Kathy said.

“When Kathy and I sit down for breakfast, we have a board meeting,” he said.

When they opened their first coin-operated laundromat in Midway, they travelled around to learn what they liked and what they didn’t. Drew said it was their goal not to own a typical laundromat. The goal was to make the laundromat feel like home, with TVs and places to sit while the laundry gets done.

“We want our customers to come in and relax,” Drew said.

They are joined in the business by their daughter, Andrea, who serves as the office manager.

To set an appointment for the Ocean Suds in Rehoboth, call 745-3134.