By GREG RUSSELL, Register Staff Writer
Gainesville Daily Register
Dry Clean Super Center has been under David Hampton’s steady ownership for nearly six years, and the owner admitted he didn’t plan it that way.
Having owned and operated six dry cleaning businesses, Hampton was only looking to serve as an industry consultant when he was asked in 2007 to adopt ownership of the facility at 1001 E. California St. in Gainesville.
He said he originally planned to elevate the operation to his standards and then sell it, but something changed.
“I’ve since fallen in love with the community,” he said. “This is a very nice community and very good — and the nicest people that I’ve met have been in this town. And they make me feel comfortable here and welcome, and it’s a nice living here. And so I’m keeping this store.”
Since taking root in Gainesville, Hampton has made himself available to local outreach organizations such as the Rotary, Optimist and Kiwanis clubs. He said he uses those avenues to try and give back as much as he feels he has received.
“I’ll help where needed and when asked, I’m available,” he said. “Since I do make a nice living here, I feel it’s my duty and an honor and privilege to help those who need help.”
One element of Hampton’s outreach is a coat drive he launched 15 years ago. The local version of the drive benefits Cooke County’s All Babies Born Alive (ABBA) organization. More than 1,000 coats are generally gathered at the end of a year, and through the resources of his business, Hampton cleans them all for free before passing them along to ABBA representatives to give away and sell for their agency’s profit.
This free cleaning service has a value of around $10,000. It’s profit that Hampton doesn’t see, but aside from keeping him integrated with the Gainesville community, the coat drive and its pro-life mission give him personal satisfaction.
“My rewards come from helping other people,” he said. “If I don’t help anybody at all, I’ll be perceived as a carpetbagger or someone who just takes, takes, takes and never gives back. And that’s not a good reputation to have.”