Christmas Eve marks the end of Farmers Dry Cleaners

In 1937, Princeton celebrated its first tobacco festival. During that time, Farmers Dry Cleaners had a laundromat component and a delivery service.
[ – 2021.12.11] On Christmas Eve, Farmers Dry Cleaners, this city’s only remaining dry cleaning business, is shutting down operations.

Sharon and Keith Sigler, of Princeton, own the business at 116 E Market St. They said they decided to shut it down after COVID-19 pandemic conditions took a toll on operations and staff’s well-being. They noted it wasn’t an easy decision.

The Siglers are terminating operations and ending service at 11 a.m. on Christmas Eve.

“I feel like the customers are always expressing their appreciation for what we do,” Sharon Sigler said. “It makes you feel good to know that your customers appreciate the good work that you do.”

They said expenditures increased nearly 30% during the pandemic. Inflation caused the cost of supplies like solvent, starch, and hangars to climb. Even though revenue has gradually returned to pre-pandemic levels and ongoing support from the community remains consistent, the Siglers said they are not prepared to sustain current operations.

To stay open during the worst part of 2020, the Siglers said they resorted to federal loans. Sharon Sigler said the business would not have survived without the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan.

The Siglers owned the business for three years and three months.

Sharon and Keith Sigler have decided to shut down the Farmers Dry Cleaners on Christmas Eve.

The business was launched in 1916. Glen Farmer ran it with a partner.

Randy Farmer said shortly after the partnership in 1916, his great-granduncle — Glen — established it as a family-owned business.

“People don’t dress like they used to,” Farmer said. “You rarely go into a retail store looking for clothing and see something that says ‘dry clean only.’ ”

“It will most definitely be a loss that this community will feel because you don’t need it until you need it and when you need it you want it, and now there isn’t going to be anything around here,” Molly Thomas said.

“Keith and Sharon are good, hardworking people, and they’ve given it their all,” she added. “I told them the other day I’m proud of them. They lasted much longer than I would have — that’s for sure.”

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