Mark Sussman and Joe Mastin of Medi-Clean Healthcare laundry share the story of their unusual partnership

Unusual Partnership Leads to Outstanding Growth

Two heads are better than one. We’ve all heard that saying and in the case of Medi-Clean Healthcare Laundry, the partnership of Mark Sussman and Joe Mastin has proved the old adage to be true. But can two companies be better than one? Continue reading to see the surprising results of just such a proposition.

Mark Sussman and Joe Mastin worked together when hired by a food and beverage laundry to expand into the healthcare rental segment, a field where both men had decades of experience. After some time, the laundry decided that the healthcare segment was not right for them after all. Mark and Joe found themselves unemployed.

The two realized that with their unique abilities and healthcare laundry backgrounds — Mark in sales and Joe in operations–they were a perfect match to start their own healthcare laundry. After some searching they bought the Fishtown Laundry in September 2009. The small 1500 square foot, one-route laundry in Philadelphia billed $100,000 in annual sales. Medi-Clean Healthcare Laundry was now officially in business.

In two years they brought in new clients and the limited facilities was processing 600,000 pounds per year with routes in four states. It became obvious that future growth was not possible without a new location. While searching for a new home for Medi-Clean, the partners let it be known that they were looking to purchase equipment for their future home. Word spread about the duo’s dilemma and eventually Sussman and Mastin were introduced to an organization that had a large laundry facility with no customers.

Elwyn is a nonprofit serving people with special needs in facilities located in Pennsylvania and other states. One aspect of their mandate is to help disabled individuals achieve their highest level of independence. Elwyn’s work centers give their clients the opportunity to develop real world work habits with the goal of increasing the client’s independence.

The nonprofit created Elwyn Commercial Laundry with the intent of supplying the laundry needs of the many Elwyn facilities, providing training and jobs for Elwyn clients and creating a revenue stream by taking on substantial outside contracts. A 50,000 square foot facility in Aston, PA was purchased and turned it into a state of the art healthcare laundry. Once up and running, Elwyn Commercial Laundry had only one large customer, The Wilmington Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in Wilmington, DE. That account was 300,000 pounds per year, much less than the new facility was designed to handle.

It was a perfect match. Medi-Clean had the clients and Elwyn had the facilities. A partnership was struck with the agreement to process laundry in Elwyn’s new facility. Medi-Clean would pay Elwyn an agreed price per pound to process its customers’ healthcare laundry and Elwyn would pay Medi-Clean an agreed rate to deliver and service its customers.

Immediately Medi-Clean was able to bring 600,000 pounds of laundry per year to the Elwyn facility. Elwyn was able to expand the number of clients to handle the additional load with 30 working, up from three before the partnership.

It was not long after the partnership that the plant was processing its current volume of 3 million pounds per year with still more room for expansion. Joe Mastin explains that the facility could easily handle 10 million pounds per year. Expansion fits Elwyn’s mission too. With more work to be done, they will be able to grow their job training and employment for their clients.

Medi-Clean has stayed true to their focus of serving the healthcare segment and will continue to do so with any new customers that come their way. Although they have been approached many times to take on non-healthcare contracts, Mastin believes that healthcare is the best fit for Medi-Clean’s expertise and Elwyn’s facilities.

This September, MediClean’s 13 employees, (a few are family members), ECL Staff and key vendors, celebrated their five year anniversary. With their partnership with Elwyn and the growth opportunities on the horizon, they will be celebrating for many years to come.