King Koin reopens

Owner bringing new life to Trading Co.
Story And Photos By Kathleen Gilluly
Thursday, September 20, 2018
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The interior of the Laurel Trading Co. is dusty and gloomy, but Seder sees potential in the 2,500 square foot area making up the front of the building. The shelving is original as is the tin ceiling, which will be saved.

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Left: Ron Seder in front of one of the new washing machines he installed in the King Koin Building after renovating it. Above: The Barney & Hartley Market sign is in great shape. When the rear addition to the building was added the sign was left on what was formerly the back entrance to the King Koin Building. To the right of the sign is the back entrance to The Laurel Trading Co.

A symbol of Laurel’s historic past has occupied a spot on Main St. for over a hundred years. Built in 1906, the Laurel Trading Co., with it’s false front is a reminder of the days when business in Laurel took place primarily downtown. The building next door, housing the newly reopened King Koin also has historical significance although it wasn’t built un- til 1936, when it was initially occupied by the Barney-Hartley Market. About 10 years later, the Trading Company took over the smaller brick building to expand its business. At some point afterwards, the rear addition was built.

While the current owner plans to restore both buildings, he started with the King Koin building. It is back to its 1970’s glory, but with updated washing machines and dryers.

“I’m kind of looking at this as my retirement plan,” Ron Seder said. “There is plenty here to keep me busy for a long time.” While Seder spent 100 days, evenings and weekends remodeling the laundry and updating the plumbing and electrical, he plans to hire a contractor to finish the Laurel Trading Co.

“I have my day job to do, as well,” he said. In addition to renovating old buildings and running King Koin, Seder operates Seder’s Heating and Cooling and has a fireplace shop, as well.

“I’ll be hiring an attendant for the laundry,” he said. “We’ll be set up to take in laundry then.” In the meantime, folks can do their own laundry for $4 a load in one of 10 new 30-pound washers or in one of the two- 60 pound washers. King Koin also has 10 30-pound dryers and 2 50-pound dryers. Among the amenities are a change machine, an ATM and a soap dispenser. Seder plans on installing televisions and a vending machine with snacks for folks doing laundry.

King Koin is currently open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., but it will transition to a 24-hour business with the installation of lock-key-access cards soon. Cus- tomers will be able to sign up for a card allowing them access to the laundry anytime. The system will also keep track of who and how long customers are in the store.

The last usage of King Koin as a laundromat was in the 1970s, when the building was divided legnthwise for rows of machines. Now, Seder will finish up work on the west side to rent out to another business.

“I think King Koin closed in the 70s because the drain was so clogged the place wasn’t usable,” Seder explained. “People told me there was always standing water in here. I was worried we wouldn’t get it unplugged. That would have ruined all my plans.”

Instead, while cleaning the drainpipe he discovered why it was clogged. The four-inch pipe was jammed with coins that had fallen out of pockets while being washed. From there, they fell into a trough used by all the machines to transport the grey water to the drain.

“We pulled two five-gallon buckets of coins out of the drain,” he said. “No wonder there was no flow through the pipe.”



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