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Business

Ablitt’s Fine Cleaners Driver Retires After 300,000 Miles, 20 Years and 0 Sick Days

Riding high on retirement, Lewis Ross will leave Ablitt’s Fine Cleaners this month after 20 years of service.
Riding high on retirement, Lewis Ross will leave Ablitt’s Fine Cleaners this month after 20 years of service. (Ablitt’s Fine Cleaners photo)

It’s the end of an era for many South Coast families — their personal concierge is retiring.

Lewis Ross, the familiar face synonymous with Ablitt’s Fine Cleaners, is stepping down from his 20-year career of picking up and delivering dry cleaning, laundry and special orders.

Ross has been a local fixture in the iconic Ablitt’s van for the last two decades. Along with the everyday needs of Santa Barbara families, he has been instrumental in helping the celebration of life’s milestone such as weddings, graduations, anniversaries and landmark birthdays.

Ross has clocked in 300,000 miles in Montecito alone, saving clients from driving more than 2 million miles back and forth to Ablitt’s Fine Cleaners in downtown Santa Barbara, according to Sasha Ablitt, owner of the environmentally sound business.

Many of his clients have become friends over the years, including Kinko’s founder Paul Orfalea.

But the most incredible statistic may be that Ross did not have one sick day over the last 20 years.

An avid hiker and environmentalist, Ross plans to take off for Europe in June on a well-deserved holiday to pursue his passion for the outdoors by trekking in the Alps and the Pyrenees.

This year Ablitt’s celebrates its 30-year anniversary.

— Jennifer Goddard Combs is a publicist representing Ablitt's Fine Cleaners.

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