Since 1967, when C.B. and Elsie Penninger first opened Penninger’s One Hour Martinizing, the Penninger family has helped the residents of the Midlands look their best. For three generations, they have remained committed to that first mission statement: Provide exceptional quality cleaning, finishing and superior customer service at affordable prices.
In 1974, Chet Penninger, son of C.B. and Elsie, 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. The company also operates four production facilities, three home delivery routes, a commercial cleaning route and a textile restoration division, with 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 customers get the quality they expect and deserve from a full service drycleaner,” says Tripp Penninger, grandson of the company’s founders. He adds, “There are a lot of competitors in the Midlands. We work very hard to distinguish ourselves. 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 internal expenses may be higher as a result, but we believe the quality resulting from this approach is what keeps our customers coming back.” Tripp’s Fine Cleaners is the only Sanitone Certified Master Drycleaner in the Midlands and has been voted the Best of Columbia in various publication polls each year since 1992.
Tripp’s Fine Cleaners also prides itself on its community support programs. In 1995, Tripp began Tripp’s Coats for Kids, a campaign that has 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 and 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, and we think it is 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 says, “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.”