Ziker Cleaners is a 4th generation family business celebrating its 100th Anniversary in April of 2017. Ziker Cleaners was founded by Joe Ziker, a Russian immigrant. At the age of 14, Joe found his way to South Bend and opened a small tailor shop where he was a tailor that served the Vaudeville industry. Joe was a hard working entrepreneur and that set the stage for a business that has adapted through major upsetting times like the depression, prohibition, WW2, and multiple recessions. In the 1940’s Mort Ziker, Joe’s son joined the business and the two of them continued Ziker Cleaners growth. The values of Ziker Cleaners today are deeply rooted in the history of the company and its commitment to communities it serves.
Ziker Cleaners had to adopt a new business plan in the early 1970’s when wash and wear polyester clothing was introduced and 30,000 drycleaners went out of business. We diversified into Uniform Rental. David Ziker, 3rd generation, after graduating from Indiana University in the late 70’s joined the company started working in the fledgling uniform rentals division of Ziker Cleaners. In the early 80’s David began developing the uniform business into a business of its own and it grew until 2014 when that division was sold. The sale was a big event for the company and its two owners, Dave Fischgrund, brother in law and partner to David Ziker, for over 30 years.
Ziker Cleaners had operated in the same location 251 E Sample Street, close to downtown South Bend since the 1930’s. Joe Ziker owned a building that housed a small corner drycleaners/tailor shop, with an apartment upstairs where he and his brother lived. As the business grew, so did the facility. Adjacent land and buildings were purchased and developed to adapt to the growth and diversity of its business. The Sample Street facility has always been a drop off location along with it being our central production facility, business office and distribution hub. After the last building expansion in 1994 the facility was 70,000 sq ft. in size.
When the sale of the uniform division was complete in 2014, it became obvious that the Sample Street facility was too big, too costly to maintain, not conducive to automation implementation, and not central for our distribution. So we began to look for a new site to house our central production facility for 10 stores and 4 home pick up routes, a distribution center, and our business office in a more central location.
We found a perfect location, a former Save-a-Lot grocery store, in Mishawaka at 1240 S. Byrkit. After extensive remodling, we moved our drycleaning and shirt laundry cleaning production in August of 2016.. This 17,000 sq ft building has lots of parking, a truck dock, high ceilings, plenty of utilities and is centrally located for distribution of garments to our 10 stores. This new state of the art production facility also is the home to our business office.
Ziker Cleaners has been a staple in South Bend, Mishawaka and Elkhart for 100 years and we are very thankful to the 100s of thousands of loyal customers who have supported us for the past century and our plan is to continue to provide you the best quality and service for years to come.