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The Service Professionals Move to North Salem

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. - You have seen the Cintas trucks driving up and down I-684. Now you may see even more of them because Cintas , America’s largest business uniform supplier, has just relocated its local plant from Southeast to larger quarters on Fields Lane in North Salem . Among the company’s many local customers are McDonald’s, Starbuck’s, Westchester Medical Center, Estate Motors and Robison Oil.

“We renovated the building and installed the latest and greatest ergonomic work stations,” says Heather Maley of the Ohio-based company. General Manager Adam Del Vecchio describes it as “a state of the art facility to more rapidly serve the growing demands of the marketplace.”

The Cintas concept is simple. Cintas employee-partners pick up soiled work garments on a weekly basis and deliver fresh clean clothing in exchange. “There’s a myriad of clothing hanging up in the air,” says Maley. “Most individuals have a rotating supply of 11 or so shirts or uniforms.” The phrase employee-partner indicates that each employee has an vested interest in the company.

The company had humble beginnings, explains Maley. During the Great Depression Doc Farmer, animal trainer, trapeze artist and regular performer on the Ohio River boat circuit, was laid off. With a family to support and circus skills his only asset, Farmer established himself as a “ragman.” He collected soiled rags from factories, his wife laundered them, and he sold them back to businesses that needed them.

Now, more than 80 years later, Cintas employs 30,000 people world-wide and serves over five million customers. Its services reach far beyond uniform rentals. Cintas deals in restroom supplies, first aid and safety equipment, fire protection, promotional products, and document management such as shredding, imaging and storage. The Fields Lane facility concentrates on uniform rental services.

The word, Cintas, incidentally, has no specific meaning. It was based on a cocktail napkin doodle. Doc Farmer’s grandson, Dick, describes it all in his book, “From Rags to Riches.” The story of the company name can be found on page 91. Dick Farmer’s son, Scott has recently stepped in as CEO.

The new Cintas facility on Fields Lane will employ about 75 people. There are some openings for service/sales representatives, who drive the trucks and service the customers on a daily basis.

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