When Robyn Tolhurst starting working at City Central Laundry Services 33 years and three owners ago she recalls the old green machines that customers would load with 20 cent coins to do their own laundry.
A Country Practice was the most popular television series at the time and a lot has changed over the last three decades. But one thing that remains the same is the traditional customer service that has kept people coming back time and time again.
All the washing machines and dryers are computerised now and Mrs Phillips has introduced eco friendly wet cleaning. But loyal customers are still greeted with the same friendly smile they were 33 years ago.
Many will miss that after Mrs Tolhurst's last day at the Kembla Street business on Tuesday. Especially owner of 20 years Sue Phillips who said she was one of the reasons why City Central Laundry Services has survived when so many others have disappeared.
Mrs Tolhurst doesn't think her good friend and great boss needs worry though because with so many new units in the city centre now more people are dropping off their laundry to be done because they have so little space to hang their clothes out to dry..
Tuesday will also be an unusual day for Ms Phillips because no employee has ever left before during her ownership.
It will also be an emotional one for Mrs Tolhurst who is only retiring because of her back and other health reasons. She wishes she could stay and will be calling in regularly to say hello.
Mrs Tolhurst's long tenure with the business all started by chance.
She used the laundry herself and was walking past one day when the owner at the time called her in and asked if she wanted a job.
"I am sad to be going but unfortunately I have to leave because of my health," she said.
"I was hoping to get in a few more years and stay until Sue decided to retire but that is not going to happen that way.
"It is going to be tough to leave because Sue is such a great boss and I still have five customers have been coming in for as long as I have worked here.
"It has been so good to work here. Everyone gets on so well and I am going to miss all the interaction with the staff and all the customers. I just want to thank everyone for making it so good for me".
Mrs Phillips said she is sad to lose such an excellent employee who all the customers from Helensburgh to Nowra love.
"She knows the game inside and out," she said.
"It is shame she can't do it any more because she really enjoys it.
"So many people know her in Wollongong. She has been the face of the shop.
"She has good people skills and is a great allrounder.
"If you look after your employees they will look after you and that is what Robyn has done".
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