Downtown People: Fong’s: The Moy the Merrier

Downtown People: Fong’s: The Moy the Merrier Walk into Fong’s Hand Laundry & Cleaners and you might wonder who’s in charge. Customers often are greeted, simultaneously, by several smiling members of the Moy family.

A1FongTHUMB
Published January 24, 2013 6:43 PM
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A1FongTHUMBDowntown People: Fong’s: The Moy the Merrier

Walk into Fong’s Hand Laundry & Cleaners and you might wonder who’s in charge. Customers often are greeted, simultaneously, by several smiling members of the Moy family.

 

By Jon Craig

 

A1 FongWalk into Fong’s Hand Laundry & Cleaners and you might wonder who’s in charge. Customers often are greeted, simultaneously, by several smiling members of the Moy family.

 

Eric Moy is the Elm Place shop’s current owner. His father, Sam, is technically retired but remains a mainstay in the third-generation family business. Sam, a 1968 graduate of Rye High School, has been there since the beginning. Fong’s is named after his late brother-in-law. The original dry cleaners opened in 1956 in space now occupied by Sunrise Pizza. A year later, it was sold to Sam’s father, See Ngum Moy. The business reopened at the corner at Elm and Theodore Fremd on January 2, 1969, after Sam took over for his father.

 

Sam and his wife, Lili, along with their son, Eric, still toil there six days a week with relatives and other employees. The Moys see themselves as proud survivors of numerous downtown floods. During a recent interview, Sam Moy pointed to watermarks left on the walls from floods in 2007 and 2011.

 

“We’ve gotten flooded so many times, I have lost track — seven or eight times,’’ Sam said. “We bounced back in less than a week. None of the customers’ clothes got wrecked. We’re always here.”

 

This past October, the family was surprised, but pleasantly relieved, when Hurricane Sandy didn’t send floodwater to their end of the city.

 

Eric is quick to praise his father for the family’s success, and his own solid upbringing in a community they love and enjoy, through the good times, and losses. “I point to that guy. He’s the backbone. Without him, they would be no Fong’s.’’

 

Eric climbed atop a display case to show off a ball of string collected from years of dry cleaning packages. The ball was given to the Moys by a customer named Helen just before she moved into a retirement home. “I was touched,’’ Sam said. “I was crying. She was crying.”

 

Sam recalled another fond moment, on a visit to Hong Kong, when a loyal customer spotted him in an ocean terminal mall. “He pointed at me,’’ Sam said. “He said, ‘Fong.’ I said, ‘Larchmont 1010.’ We used to assign numbers to customers, instead of last names, to keep track of their dry cleaning.”

 

Today, the Moys still count six regular customers among the original shop’s clientele registry.

 

 

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