About Margaret's the Couture Cleaner

Overview

History

Facilities

Awards

Media

Pricing

Brochures

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Margaret’s is a family-run company spanning six decades, with the Horst family having owned and operated dry cleaning establishments for four generations. Since it is privately-owned and financially independent, the company takes a long-term vision and strategy to its brands, with an ethos of attention to detail in all aspects of its business.
As the nation’s first Five Star Certified Cleaner, our guiding principle is one of providing unparalleled quality dry cleaning with an uncompromising commitment to offering the highest standards of outstanding service, experience and value to each and every customer.

Our Mission:

To become the nation’s most successful couture dry cleaner by living up to our goals of providing true excellence through craftsmanship and Five Star Customer Service.

Margaret Clutter founded Margaret’s Knit Blocking in 1953 with just a pair of pants and a sweater. It was three years after the passing of her husband, and her son’s plane had been shot down in the Korean war. Not knowing his condition, she wanted to be in a financial position to take care of him when he returned. Very quickly “Margaret’s” became known for fine pressing and knit blocking and was filled with some of the finest clothing in the city.

For the next 34 years, with her extensive skill at hand washing, stain removal, alterations, pressing, knit blocking and knit repair, her business earned the reputation for being the best in the prestigious La Jolla community.

In 1988, Margaret (at the age of 80) was approached to sell the business. Once she experienced the work attitude and technical ability of John and Barbara Horst, she decided her reputation for excellence and the craftsmanship, quality, traditions and values for which Margaret’s was synonymous would be in good hands.

John Horst, at the time he acquired ownership of Margaret’s in 1987, was a third generation dry cleaner with 34 years of experience, having owned his own 80-employee dry cleaning operation in Ohio. Within the first year of ownership, John’s brother, Carl, and his sister-in-law, Tina, moved to San Diego and came to work at Margaret’s (both had worked for John in Ohio). Tina has since retired, but Carl continues to operate the cleaning facilities at Margaret’s to present day.

In 1989, John and Barbara’s son, Chuck, came to work in the business. Chuck, a professor of astronomy at San Diego State University, now runs the day-to-day operations of the company as its President. Continuing the tradition, John and Barbara’s second son, Scott, joined the team and handles sales for the Los Angeles and Newport Beach retail stores. Shortly after that Jan, their daughter, joined the business and now manages both the bridal division and human resources for the company. Chuck’s wife, Robin, assists in the office and helps supply the couture seamstresses with the materials and supplies needed to enable them to perform their magic. Most recently, Amy, Carl’s daughter, joined the family business to assist in the bridal operations.

Our core values reflect what matters to us, both as a company and as the group of individuals who make up the Margaret’s family. Our values are the solid foundation and guiding principles of our company culture. By consistently working hard to maintain our values, we endeavor to preserve what makes Margaret’s so special...a commitment to each other, to the customers we serve, and to the communities in which we work and live.

Our Goals

  • EXCELLENCE through CRAFTSMANSHIP
  • Continual DEVELOPMENT setting the state-of-the-art standard in garment care
  • Always deliver the BEST WORKMANSHIP possible
  • ENHANCE our customer’s experience with their wardrobe investment
  • HONOR our employees who deliver their BEST
  • Provide a UNIQUE and UNMATCHED cleaning service to our community
  • Frequent donations to CHARITable organizations

Margaret’s Cleaners is family-owned and operated. Our family of eight participates in every aspect of daily operations, from cleaning through inspection. Because we specialize in fine garments and discerning consumers, Margaret’s has been in the continual pursuit of excellence for 64 years. We have achieved that excellence through old time craftsmanship.

  • Our cleaning solutions are kept pure through continuous distillation and constant monitoring.
  • All garment finishing is accomplished with hand pressing by skilled craftsmen for each and every garment.
  • Our inspectors ensure that every detail is attended to.
  • Our innovative use of technology has created a cutting-edge, proprietary system that continually sets the state-of-the-art standard for the industry.

We have relied upon our quality of work promoting itself to maintain a steady business growth even through past recessions, and, unlike other dry cleaners, we do almost no advertising and do not rely on discounting and coupons to get new customers in the door. We’ve spent 25 years training craftsmen and developing the techniques and tooling to enable us to be a single, one-stop service provider for every type of garment and service need.

We were the first in the nation to provide full service cleaning and repair of handbags, and to offer the specialty packaging we developed for multiple types of garments. Our breathable sweater bags and custom-made elongated tie boxes with clear lids are now widely used throughout the couture dry cleaning industry. We receive CleanByMail® packages daily from across the nation. Many other dry cleaners have come to rely on Margaret’s for their most difficult cleaning challenges. We are also the preferred service provider for over 300 designer boutiques and fine department stores.

Our patent-pending software, self-designed award-winning plant, and the development of our proprietary processes, have come to make Margaret’s the nation’s largest couture cleaner. Our proprietary techniques are used regularly for gown inspection, garment drying, and leather and handbag refinishing, to name just a few. We have the widest disbursement of locations and service much of Southern California. In addition, we offer a more comprehensive variety of services than any other dry cleaner in North America.

facilities slide show (coming)

Awards and Accolades

  • Best Plant Design, 2012, American Dry Cleaner Magazine
  • Award of Excellence, Dry Cleaning & Laundry Inst., 2007 & 2008
  • Best of La Jolla — La Jolla Village News Reader’s Poll, 2006 – 2017
  • Best of La Jolla — La Jolla Light Reader’s Poll, 2003 – 2017
  • Best Medium-Size Family Owned Business, 2006 — San Diego Business Journal & University of San Diego
  • Five Star Certified Couture Cleaner — Awarded by Leading Cleaners Internationale, 2005
  • Consumer Business Review — Best Dry Cleaner, 2004
  • Most Influential Dry Cleaner— Methods For Management, 2003
  • Selected Founding Member — Leading Cleaners of America, 2003
  • Best Dry Cleaner — San Diego Magazine, 2002
  • Best of San Diego — Best Of, 2002

media

pricing

Brochures (coming)

Galleries (coming)


Wedding Wire Reviews

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NAVIGATION

San Diego Location
5150 Convoy Street
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 454-2375

MapDirections

Hours:
Mon - Fri: 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Sunday: Closed

La Jolla Location
7511 La Jolla Blvd.
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 454-2375

MapDirections

Hours:
Mon - Fri: 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Saturday: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Sunday: Closed

Del Mar Location
3790 Via De La Valle #213
Del Mar, CA 92014
(858) 755-2715

MapDirections

Hours:
Mon - Fri: 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Saturday: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Sunday: Closed

Newport Location
1831 Westcliff Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 645-5210

MapDirections

Hours:
Mon - Fri: 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Sunday: Closed

CleanByMail
Available Nationwide
Ship Items to San Diego

5150 Convoy Street
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 454-2375

Include CleanByMail Form with your Order

CleanByMail for Retailers
Available Nationwide
Ship Items to San Diego

5150 Convoy Street
San Diego, CA 92111
(866) 454-2375

Use our Retailer Alliance form to submit a request.

Los Angeles Location
10700 Santa Monica Blvd, #160
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 470-9200

MapDirections

Hours:
Mon - Fri: 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Sunday: Closed