William McAnelly, co-owner of Liberty Hill Cleaners, wants to be the Hill Country’s hometown dry cleaners. The Liberty Hill location is the latest venture for McAnelly and business partner Jim Collins, who have acquired cleaning stores in Lampasas, Burnet, Marble Falls and Kingsland inside the last two years.
The move to the Liberty Hill market, he said “just made sense. We needed to be with our neighbors in Liberty Hill.”
In Liberty Hill, McAnelly has partnered with the Bluebonnet Boutique on State Highway 29 as a pick-up and drop-off location. Pick-up and delivery are on Tuesdays and Thursdays. In addition to the store front location, a complimentary van delivery service is also available on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
McAnelly indicated that they also do laundry and dry cleaning services for other businesses in the area, as far out as San Saba and Llano.
The company also provides complimentary pick-up and drop-off for teachers, administrators and staff members in the Burnet school district, and hopes to provide the same service in Liberty Hill in the coming months.
In November, Liberty Hill Cleaners began door-to-door service to businesses in Liberty Hill via their complimentary van delivery service, and are already serving several businesses along State Highway 29. In addition, they will be providing similar door-to-door service for neighborhoods throughout Liberty Hill beginning in January 2017.
“We know Liberty Hill is growing like wildfire and we know people are busy,” he said when asked about the beginning of the delivery service.
“The scope of our work is very broad,” McAnelly said. “We can do everything from conditioning shoes to alterations. We can clean just about anything that can go on a table, a bed or on a person’s back.”
Liberty Hill Cleaners also offers complimentary services to local funeral homes.
“If there is a veteran that has passed we can do those garments at no cost,” he said.
McAnelly said Liberty Hill Cleaners also offers discounted services to first responders, as well as special care for flags for military, state and high schools.
“We get a lot of veterans and active military who come in to have their uniforms pressed. We get a lot of first responders, fire and EMS. We give them a discount. We’re very appreciative of their service. We’re happy they trust us with their uniforms,” McAnelly said.
“We really want to feel like we’re a part of the community, that we’re kind of a one-stop shop,” he said.
McAnelly said he and his partner both have Central Texas roots. He noted that he’s a native of McLennan County and Collins is a life-long Lampasas resident.
While McAnelly and Collins are relative newcomers to the dry-cleaning business, they bring over 30 years combined business experience into this retail arena. They were working at an Austin financial services firm when they heard about the dry cleaning opportunity.
After study, the pair decided “this is where we want to be invested,” McAnelly said. “We want to feel like we’re a partner in these communities.”
McAnelly said he also wants to advise customers on their cleaning and clothes preservation questions.
“I like to spend a lot of time out in the communities, a lot of it right here at the counter,” he said. “It’s still a very much relationship-based business. People trust us with something that’s very important to them. Often times it’s to go to a very important event. It could be a job interview, it could be a baptism or a wedding, or it could be a funeral for a loved one. We’re providing a service that’s not just a service; it’s something that’s a very important part of their lives. That’s why they trust us with that.”
Technological changes have swept through the cleaning industry in the last couple of years, he said.
“When we came in, the business model for the cleaning world was very antiquated, everything was done by hand in triplicate,” he added.
One of the changes starts at the front counter.
“We made sure we found the best point-of-sale computer system,” he said. “Each garment receives a bar code assigned to the customer. It answers the ‘how do I know I get my clothes back and not somebody else’s question’.
“It’s much more efficient than it was just a few years ago,” he said. “We have a history on that garment when it comes in.”
Technological changes in the processing end of the industry are incorporated in the cleaners, too.
“We want to be good stewards of the environment,” McAnelly said.
He said the stores have been free of Perchloroethylene (PERC), a potential human carcinogen, since the first day the plant began operations in 1986.
The stores use a hydrocarbon-based process for the things that must be dry-cleaned, such as wool. Also present is a water soluble process that is more environmentally friendly, he said.
McAnelly said what makes Liberty Hill Cleaners different from the rest is its unwavering commitment to customer service, an ability to provide door-to-door delivery service and involvement in the community.
“Liberty Hill Cleaners is excited to be a stakeholder in this special town for many years to come,” McAnelly said.