Mascari Cleaners reaches 70 years in business

Mascari Cleaners Owner Angie Mascari Rowekamp enjoys serving customers at the Wanamaker store.

For third-generation owner Angie Mascari Rowekamp, Mascari Cleaners is the only business she’s ever known.

Growing up, she would work alongside her father, Mike Mascari, who had a knack for making the work fun for his children.

“Our good times as a family were always around working,” Angie said. “We had a lot of good memories. We’d have cleaning parties. We’d have to do it until we got it right. After we were done, (my dad) would reward us with a little food, ice cream or candy. If we were working at night and the customers weren’t here, we’d have a pizza party.”

Angie and her brother Mark Mascari co-own the business now. Mike is semi-retired, remaining active in the community and doing landscaping for the business.

As the cleaners enters into its 70th year, Angie said it’s business as usual, getting work done and remaining an embedded part of the Franklin Township community.

Gus and Ruth Mascari first opened Mascari Cleaners in Indianapolis in April of 1947. Gus and Ruth raised their eight children while growing the family business. Their son, Mike, served during the Vietnam War. A year after returning home, he decided to venture into the dry cleaning business in Wanamaker in 1971. In 1986, Mark joined the family business to help his father, followed by Angie in 1990.

“I watched my father have a good work ethic,” Angie said. “It’s a good, humble living to make. I look at my grandparents and what they sacrificed to be self employed. I look at their eight kids and my father who sacrificed a lot to be self employed. There is a reward in doing something good and honest.”

Much has changed in the business over time – from the way they clean the ever-changing materials and clothing designs to the way the business operates. At one point in time, Mascari Cleaners had eight stores. Its sole location is currently at 8845 Southeastern Ave. in Wanamaker.

“In the last four years, we’ve made a ton of changes,” Angie said. “We purchased a new cleaning machine. The cleaning products went from good to great. Now we’re all eco-friendly. We added in the sewing department a year ago. We have a great alterations lady, Amy. She alters everything. There is a market and need for it.  We do fittings right here. We just adapt to what the customer wants.”

The business currently has eight employees. Angie works in the business with daily operations and helping customers. Mark runs the production and maintenance aspect. Angie said they enjoy being members of the Franklin Township Chamber of Commerce and being involved with the Franklin Township Lions Club.

“If we weren’t a team, this wouldn’t work,” Angie said. “This is home for us. We do really enjoy working and being here amongst our community.”

Best advice: Work in your business every day. When you don’t mind your business, you won’t have a business to mind.

Worst advice: I’m fortunate that I come from a family of entrepreneurs. My family has made a lot of mistakes along the journey so they can guide my brother and I in the right direction. They have our best interests in mind.

Best business decision: Expanding and buying a new dry cleaning machine. You always have to invest in your business.

Secret to success: We have great customer service here. We take a lot of pride in what we do. My brother and I are here every day and working part of the business. We don’t leave it to other people. We surround ourselves with good people.

In 5 years… Five years ago I had a plan and we accomplished everything. I would like to expand the home delivery and in the next five years, triple that. My big goal this year is to market the home delivery. I’d also like to see the sewing department build more and more.

Mascari Cleaners

8845 Southeastern Ave.

Wanamaker, IN 46239

(317) 862-2004