North Battleford downtown looked pretty different in the 1940s to how it looks now. One business that has stood the test of time? Kerr’s Cleaners, which was opened in 1946 by Chic Kerr on his return from the war and was bought by Battleford native Cassandra Germsheid and Jesse Crozier of Biggar in 2016. The couple operate the business with the help of Germsheid’s parents, Scott and Jayne Foster.
“Mr. Kerr was all about customer service and we still have customers now that remember him and speak of him fondly,” says Germsheid. “He also kept his business strong by offering alteration and laundry services as well as dry cleaning – he was really ahead of his time.”
She and Crozier are now keen to continue that legacy, broadening the scope of the business still further with linen and uniform rentals and a wet-wash option as an alternative to dry cleaning.
“Some people don’t like the smell of dry-cleaning chemicals and it is a greener option so it’s something we can offer our customers if they’d prefer,” Germsheid says. “However, dry-cleaning is still the best option for some fabrics and situations. We’ve quickly become experts in fabrics and stain removals so can offer advice to customers on the best options for them.”
Kerr’s carefully handles any item you need cleaned, from hats and some leather items to feather duvets and wedding dresses. It also offers alterations and repairs. “We’ve often been able to save something that people thought they’d have to get rid of, whether it’s because of a stain or damage to the fabric. These can sometimes be items with a lot of sentimental value – like afghans made by someone’s grandmother. And then sometimes it’s just a case of making your life easier by sewing on a button or fixing a hem,” says Germsheid.
Speaking of making your life easier, Kerr’s will also pick up and drop off your items, free of charge (within city limits), whether it’s a single suit or a bale of blankets. Germsheid says it all comes back to Mr Kerr’s desire to serve his community.
“He and his wife were both well known for that, and it’s something we’d like to continue. Right now we’re doing small sponsorships and over time, we’d like to get even more involved,” she says. “It’s all about participating and supporting. Jesse and I have four children, and it’s important to us that they learn to value community, too.”
Kerr’s Cleaners is at 1152-100th Street, North Battleford. For more information, drop in, call 306-445-3566 or visit Kerrscleaners.com.