The contract extends a close relationship the company has had with military installations in San Antonio dating back to before World War II.
The company was founded in 1939 by Peter G. Garcia and his wife Cecilia and is still a family-run business today. The company was originally located inside Fort Sam Houston in a modest 1,200-square-foot building where it laundered uniforms for the troops from the 2nd Infantry Division. That is also why the company was named Division Laundry. After a few years, the company outgrew its on-base location and moved off base to a plant at 1919 N. New Braunfels.
Over the years, Division Laundry has shifted its focus from uniforms to bed sheets and linens and now provides cleaning services for many local hospitals and hotels in addition to its continuing work with the military. The company today is run by Peter and Cecilia’s son, Pat Garcia, who takes pride in its ability to maintain the highest quality of service.
“We have worked hard to build our good reputation,” Pat Garcia says. “In preparation for this solicitation we have made investments to improve our technical capability.”
Garcia notes that the company recently purchased new automated equipment for folding towels and blankets and ironing sheets. He says the company invested over $1 million in the new equipment. He would not, however, disclose annual revenue figures for the company.
But Garcia did say the company, which employs 131 people full-time, processes about 16 million pounds of laundry a year, of which about 3.5 million pounds comes from the former Brooke Army Medical Center. And the military portion is expected to grow by as much as 40 percent to 50 percent over the next few years.
“By this time next year (SAMMC) will be one of the largest Department of Defense medical facilities in the world,” Garcia says. “So it is important for us to reinvest and remain competitive so that we can keep these jobs in San Antonio. They could just as easily have taken this work to Houston.”