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Koreans have long dominated the dry cleaning industry in Southern California.  Their days are numbered now

If you worked from home during the pandemic, you probably haven’t used your local dry cleaner as much. Maybe you noticed a little more savings and thought, “Oh, cool”. But think about it: your dry cleaning is run by people. If you are in Southern California, probably Korean immigrants. And if you don’t spend the money, that means they don’t.

Today, we are talking about the history of Korean dry cleaning in the United States. How did people get into this business? And are their days of domination over?


Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guest: Andrew J. Campa, LA Times San Gabriel Valley reporter and the owners of Arroyo Cleaners, Yoon Dong Kim and Stacy Kim

More reading:

Long road to success for Korean immigrants, dry cleaners battle pandemic

Extract from the archives: Korean immigrants run 70% of Orange County dry cleaners and 27% of its neighborhood grocery stores

From Archives: Korean Americans Switch to Franchises