Original Article: https://www.palmcoastobserver.com/article/tcc-dry-cleaners-opens-in-palm-coast-with-ribbon-cutting-hosted-by-african-american-entrepreneurs-club

James Smith, 55, has been invovled in the dry cleaning business for nearly 50 years. On Thursday, July 20, he and his wife celebrated the next step in their clean clothes journey.

James Smith has been involved in the dry cleaning business for nearly as long as he’s been alive.

“James grew up in a dry cleaners,” said his wife, Elizabeth, who has been in the dry cleaning business since she was 16. “Literally.”

The 55-year-old Smith, who grew up learning the ins-and-outs of dry cleaning at his father’s store in Brooklyn, has nearly 50 years of experience in the field.

Smith, who moved to Palm Coast by way of New Jersey in 2009, has operated a valet dry-cleaning service for the past nine years, servicing clients in all of Flagler and Volusia Counties.

And on Thursday, July 20, Smith and his wife celebrated their next step into the world of clean clothes.

With family, friends and faithful customers in attendance, the African American Entrepreneurs Club held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the grand opening of TCC Dry Cleaners at 3 Cypress Branch Way, the new storefront for the Smiths’ business.

“What we’re doing is we’re trying to facilitate a directory so that when families relocate in the county, they don’t have to thumb through the Yellow Pages as hard,” AAEC Recruiting Manager Cynthia Black said. “Having a directory to take you to services that you need. That’s what’s key here.”

In addition, Thursday afternoon marked ribbon cutting No. 198 for Flagler County Commissioner Nate McLaughlin — but that’s not to say he’s grown tired of them.

“They’re all special. And that may sound cliche, but the fact of the matter is this is the most important day to them, and that’s what makes it special,” he said. “I don’t go to these for me. I go to these to show support. But the county and the city and the government and the community supports folks who take these risks and who are willing to take these risks.”

As for Smith, it’s been a long road.

What first manifested itself in a small Brooklyn store has now become a reality, and his wife has been there every step of the way.

“We’ve come a long way. It’s not something that was handed to me,” Smith said. “Me and my wife, we built it.”