Feigenbaum Cleaners, one of the oldest dry cleaning businesses in New York state, is celebrating its centennial anniversary.
The company was started in Glens Falls, where it is still headquartered, in 1917 by Herman Feigenbaum and his wife Jennie, both emigrants from Austria-Hungary. They met and married in New York City in 1909.
The Glens Falls shop is at 89 1/2 Bay St., and there is a Queensbury shop at 118 Quaker Road, in Quaker Plaza. Other shops are at 33 Railroad Place in Saratoga Springs and at Wilton Square, 3039 Route 50, and there is one in Latham.
“After working as a tailor for years in the crowded garment factories of New York’s Lower East Side, Herman decided to leave New York City to purchase a tailor shop in Whitehall,” said Todd Feigenbaum, the third-generation owner.
“On their way to Whitehall, the family of five decided to spend a night in Glens Falls. After exploring the community and falling in love with its charm, they decided Glens Falls would be their new home.”
According to Todd Feigenbaum, Herman opened his tailor shop and soon realized there was no dry cleaner north of Albany, so he decided to incorporate dry cleaning into his business. For many years the business operated out of the family home, where eventually all six children helped out. After returning from the service in World War II, sons Louis and Bill joined their parents and expanded the company into a larger location near home.
By 1952, the business grew again with the construction of more space, including a large fur vault, which was added to the building. During the 1950s and 1960s, Feigenbaum Cleaners grew with an expanded delivery service and a store located in downtown Glens Falls.
Todd Feigenbaum said Louis and Bill ran the business after Herman and Jennie retired. Herman died in 1958, Jennie in 1968. Todd took the helm shortly following Louis’s death in 1986.
He and his wife Julie continue to run the company with business partner, Bonnie Smith, who joined them in the management of Feigenbaum Cleaners in 1992.
“Businesses come and go. It’s unusual that a business survives to pass from one generation to another. Here, we have one continuing on to a third generation and reaching the milestone of 100 years,” said Glens Falls Mayor Jack Diamond. “Feigenbaum Cleaners and generations of the Feigenbaum family have contributed to our business community and many civic and government organizations for many years.”
More information is available at the company website, www.feigenbaums.com.