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Clean and Mean

One Hour Martinizing provides an opportunity that won't take you to the cleaners.

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This story appears in the June 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The phrases "ground-floor opportunity," "golden opportunity" and "hot franchise" are probably some of the most abused buzzwords coined to entice you to invest in a particular business. Let's face it, some franchise opportunities are hotter than others...and some are just plain hot. Operating a dry-cleaning plant in July, with steam presses and other large equipment, is indisputably a "hot" franchise opportunity-but is it the one for you?

The people at One Hour Martinizing certainly think so. This franchised system is the largest of its kind, with more than 600 stores in 15 countries. Martinizing pioneered on-premises dry cleaning when, in 1949, Henry Martin recognized that a newly developed chemical would allow dry cleaning to be done in retail centers. (Previously, due to the highly flammable chemicals the process used, dry cleaning was done only in industrial areas.)

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