Del Mar French Laundry in Monterey, CA, has been operating since 1932 when Cedo Gospodnetich's family came to America and started their new business in the height of the Depression. While the business survived the Depression and numerous challenges since then, energy costs that suddenly tripled in 2001 have posed a threat to the business and the laundry industry as a whole.
Del Mar is primarily a commercial laundry (it doesn't do any dry cleaning) that services hotels and motels. So its stock-in-trade is the laundering of linens, towels, bathrobes, blankets, spreads, table linens, and uniforms. The "French laundry" designation comes from the company's specialization in hand ironing of fancy table linens, such as lace and silk tablecloths. According to Gospodnetich, the owner/president of Del Mar, "We stretch them out on a stretcher and we do them by hand. We have people who ship table linen to us from as far away as Texas and Wyoming."