Since 1967 when Tripp’s Fine Cleaners first opened its doors as “Penninger’s One Hour Martinizing” the company has helped the residents of the Midland’s look their best. The Penninger family has owned and operated Tripp’s Fine Cleaners for three generations and remains committed to the mission statement of C.B. and Elsie Penninger when they first opened the doors 47 years ago: Provide exceptional quality cleaning, finishing and superior customer service at affordable prices.
In 1974, Chet Penninger, son of C.B and Elsie Penninger, changed the name to Tripp’s Fine Cleaners. Today, Tripp’s Fine Cleaners provides full service drycleaning, executive shirt service, and alterations from 12 convenient locations in the Midlands. They also operate four production facilities, three home delivery routes, a commercial cleaning route, and a textile restoration division. The company has over 90 employees dedicated to providing superior quality and excellent customer service.
“We take a lot of pride in our work, and try to ensure that our customer’s get the quality they expect and deserve from a full service drycleaner,” says Tripp Penninger, grandson of the company’s founders. He then adds, “There are a lot of competitors in the Midlands. We work very hard to distinguish ourselves from the other cleaners. Our employees are well trained and educated in the care of fine garments and fabrics. We use the best soaps, solvents and equipment available to the industry. We do not take short cuts. Our expenses are higher as a result, but we believe the quality resulting from this approach is what keeps our customers coming back.” That is evident when one realizes that Tripp’s Fine Cleaners is the only Sanitone Certified Master Drycleaner in the Midland’s and that Tripp’s has been voted by area residents as the “Best of Columbia” in various publication polls each year since 1992.
In addition to providing Midland’s residents with excellent drycleaning, Tripp’s Fine Cleaners also prides itself on its community support programs. In 1995, Tripp began the “Tripp’s Coats for Kids” campaign. That campaign has now cleaned and provided over 35,000 coats to residents of the Midlands who otherwise may have done without. Tripp’s also supports the various efforts of The American Red Cross, The Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands, The Salvation Army, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, as well as many other local athletic leagues, schools, and churches. “The Columbia community has been very good to our business, our employees and our family,” says Tripp. “We are a family business and Columbia is our home; we think it is very important to stay involved with and loyal to the community by supporting programs that help make Columbia such an outstanding city.”
When asked about the future of Tripp’s Fine Cleaners, Tripp states, “We will expand as the market dictates but we will always stay true to our roots by providing exceptional quality cleaning, finishing, and superior customer service at affordable prices. We will also continue being a strong, loyal supporter of our employees and our community. As long as we maintain that course, being a successful family business for another three generations will take care of itself.”