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Lace House Linen Produces Essential Masks

105-year-old, family-owned commercial laundry adds to services during COVID-19 pandemic

PETALUMA, Calif. — Lace House Linen is an independent, family-owned commercial laundry located here, about 45 miles north of San Francisco.

The operation is a mixed plant servicing restaurants and hotels in the area. Owner/operator Phoebe Ellis says that most of the laundry’s customers are closed at this time, and it has laid off many employees.

“But we are fortunate to be able to continue service to our grocery stores, food manufacturers and car dealerships,” she says.  

California leadership recently mandated mask wearing when entering any essential business or when people cannot maintain social distancing of 6 feet.  

“As soon as we heard this news, we pivoted and started a new endeavor: mask production,” Ellis shares. “Our employees, who never thought they could sew, cut material or iron, quickly adapted.

“Our employees reached out to sisters, mothers, mothers-in-law and friends to help with the mask production.”  

She says the crew produced 1,500 100% cotton masks, made from over pique cotton napkins, in 4 days.  

“We were able to provide a new essential service to many customers, employees, friends and families,” Ellis points out. “Lace House Laundry is 105 years old, and we are proud to add mask production to our list of essential services.”