How We Started
For Patrick Montgomery and his wife Laurie, running a laundry business and becoming parents were always two sides of the same plan. "Laurie was working as a preschool teacher and really enjoyed it. But when we decided to start a family, she wanted a job with flexible hours so she could stay home with the kids most of the time." Montgomery explained. Their first idea was vending machines that make money for you all day long while you are doing something else. But they did not like the idea of driving all around the county to stock 30 machines! Then they realized what if we put all the vending machines in one place!
"That's when we got the laundromat idea" Montgomery described. Soon after, we found an abandoned laundromat in the Tacoma Westgate neighborhood. And nine months later, we opened the first Lighthouse Laundry in March 1999 in Westgate South Mall. Then nine months after that we came home from Cambodia with adopted twin boys! The property had been abandoned for over a year but fortunately, all the electrical, gas, and plumbing infrastructures were still there and a few washers and dryers. We bought 12 top loaders, 4 double loaders, and 8 dryers, put out 4 "A" boards, and held a Grand Opening with a 50 cent wash! Most of the former customers came back and we made a profit from Day One! Over the years we have replaced all the old machines with modern efficient washers and dryers including most recently the largest washers in the North End-80 lb (8 load) washers! And last Summer we repainted and installed new vinyl plank and carpeted floors-which make the store "feel just like home". We chose the name "Lighthouse" based on the scripture, "So let your light shine before others, that they may see your good works and glorify God" Matthew 5:16. We want people to know about Jesus. Take a free Bible. Six years later, we opened a second "Lighthouse Laundry" in Federal Way as we needed more
income for our growing family.