Bertram Plaza home to laundromat, healing center

Dr. Bruce Bottcher (left) runs a chiropractic office out of Bertram Plaza, while Sandy Hall (right) has a massage therapy office. Together, they form Bertram Healing Center, and both keep the Bertram Plaza Laundromat up and running. (Lauren Jette Photo)

Dr. Bruce Bottcher (left) runs a chiropractic office out of Bertram Plaza, while Sandy Hall (right) has a massage therapy office. Together, they form Bertram Healing Center, and both keep the Bertram Plaza Laundromat up and running. (Lauren Jette Photo)

By Lauren Jette

BERTRAM — Dr. Bruce Bottcher and Sandy Hall work together on two very different services at both ends of Bertram Plaza, located at 1460 W. State Highway 29 in Bertram.

On the west end, Bottcher runs his chiropractic office, while Hall does massage therapy and Bowenwork therapy. At the other end of the building, Bottcher helps Hall run and maintain Bertram’s only laundromat.

Hall built the building back in 2004, and ran her massage therapy business, while her daughter ran a hair salon. Between grandchildren and an ailing relative, both businesses moved out, leaving a small laundromat at the end of the building.

“It just didn’t make it,” Hall said. “It wasn’t near enough to pay the electric and water, so it had to close down. And here I was stuck with this laundromat, old broken down stuff and I just had to get rid of it.”

After seeing the need Bertram and surrounding areas had for a place to go clean laundry, Hall visited the laundromat in Burnet to get a feel for the business, and ended up buying out the Llano laundromat and moving it to Bertram.

After knocking out a wall to enlarge the Laundromat to two units, Hall was sure to include a comfortable sitting area with a TV, vending machines, and a few arcade games to keep people entertained while waiting for their clothes.

“It’s been really neat too, having tables where people can sit around and talk to each other has been really neat,” Hall said.

“Over here, at 7 p.m. now, there’s a men’s bible study that started in this (seating) area. A local pastor comes over here. They were meeting in the park and it was getting dark and cold and I said, ‘well y’all are welcome to meet over here’, so now we have a men’s bible study that comes here. We’re just hoping it really develops into a lot more.”

The laundromat has more than 45 machines that can handle anywhere from three loads of clothes up to 50 pounds, Hall said.

There is also a change machine that accepts bills up to $20, and a detergent dispensing machine. Hall also pointed out that they are kid-friendly.

“We have a lot of families that come in and play with their children while they do their laundry,” she said. “It makes it a comfortable area, where it’s not so stuffy and stiff.”

The laundromat is well-lit, and cleaned often, and Hall and Bottcher are in and out checking on things daily, she said.

It is open seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

On the east end, Bottcher and Hall work to “repair” people.

“It seems like our patients get better results when we both work on them,” Hall explained.

“I think it’s a good combination, because once the body’s lined up, then you stretch the muscles out, it’s not going to pull itself out as quickly as it could with just an alignment, because the muscles are stronger than the bone. It will actually break the bone.

“I’ve actually had part of my elbow broken off,” Hall continued.

“I know that the muscles have the ability to break your bone in different directions, so he can straighten them up and then I can stretch them out. It will keep them in alignment a lot better.”

Hall had a room built for a chiropractor, to compliment her massage and Bowenwork therapy, but was looking for someone to take the office.

“I met Sandy at church and she knew I was just practicing two days a week in Johnson City,” Bottcher explained.

“She says, ‘well I think you’re supposed to be in Bertram because I’m a massage therapist and I have my own building and I built one room for a chiropractor and I think that’s supposed to be you’ and I was like, ‘no, Sandy, I don’t think so.’ You have twice the overhead and you can’t see anymore patients than one location, I just don’t see that. She said, ‘well, pray about it.’ She pestered me every time I would see her. ‘Did you pray about that?’ and I’d have to say, no I haven’t Sandy.”

Finally, after several weeks of reminding from Hall, Bottcher finally prayed on it.

“So I prayed about it and felt like the Lord was telling me that I needed to come here and work here, so I told her I have to maintain my two days a week in Johnson City, but I can be up here three days a week. Within probably three weeks to a month, I was doing more business here than I was in Johnson City.”

Now the two work together to help patients heal, which is where Bottcher came up with the name Bertram Healing Center.

“I have a license for a physical therapy assistant, so I did physical therapy at Burnet hospital for 10 years, so I have probably more knowledge of the body than most massage therapists would have,” Hall said.

“That’s why I’m in to the repair work, not just the feel good massages. I can do those, but that’s really not normally what people come to me for. They come to me really for the repair work, and that’s why (Dr. Bottcher and I) work so well together because we’re both into repairs.”

“We just really work well together, so it’s been one of those things that’s just been a good fit for both of us,” Hall said.

For more information or to make an appointment with Dr. Bottcher or Hall, call Bertram Healing Center at (512) 355-8010.