SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Leone’s Dry Cleaning in Salt Lake City has gone from making custom suits, alterations, dry cleaning and laundry, to making thousands of medical-grade face masks for Utah’s healthcare workers.
“That’s a very, very unusual change. But we’re very happy that we have something to do,” said Aurelio Leone.
Aurelio owns the dry cleaning company along with his wife and son, Roberto.
“How many masks have you all made so far? Asked ABC4’s Brittany Johnson.
“I think we’ve done close to 10,000,” Roberto replied.
When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, Roberto says they had to temporarily lay off employees, but called half of them back into work when the business got involved with Project Project, a grassroots collaboration between Utah hospitals, who called on volunteers to help sew face masks for healthcare workers.
“One of our friends that owns Jack Suits brought us the project and we’re working with him as well,” Roberto explained.
Once the masks are done being sewn, they’ll be mailed out, sterilized, individually packaged, and distributed between Intermountain Healthcare, University of Utah Health, Latter-day Saint Charities, and some will be sent nationwide.
Although Roberto says the opportunity is “amazing,” he is looking forward to the day when they can safely go back to doing what they’re known for.
“I joke that these guys have forgotten how to tailor. They just know how to sew masks,” Roberto said, while laughing. “So hopefully when things go back to normal they’ll remember how to hem a pair of pants.”
Leone’s Dry Cleaning is also making custom masks for people in the community. Their contact information can be found, here.