Kean’s rich dry cleaning history goes back to the beginning of the 20th century, and the Kean’s tradition remains strong today. We are proud to have such an extensive history in the great city of Baton Rouge and hope that our legacy will continue for years to come.
Kean’s The Cleaner began in 1900 when brothers John Selby and Frank H. Kean began laundering collars for LSU students in a small building on Government St.
In 1906, the company changed its name to Kean Bros. and moved the company to Third Street. The family lived upstairs and the plant production was downstairs.
By the time WWI began, shirt collars were sewn into shirts, reducing the need to have pressed collars. The brothers introduced dry cleaning.
The company grew considerably from 1914-1924, and in 1924, a fire destroyed the Third Street plant. The company moved to the corner of Convention and South 19th and remained the company’s headquarters for the next 62 years.
In the 1940s, Frank’s sons Wilbur, Frank, and Gordon joined the company.
In the latter 1960s, Frank Kean III, John Kean III, and W. Amiss Kean, the third generation, joined the company.
Kean’s had several package plants operating in Baton Rouge, Gonzales, and Plaquemine that allowed cleaning to take place on-site. Kean’s introduced one-hour cleaning and expanded its services to include stain/spot removal and fur cleaning.
In the mid-1980s, Kean’s was the 16th largest privately-owned company in Baton Rouge with sales of over $30 million. Kean’s services covered all of south Louisiana, from Lake Charles to New Orleans as well as Shreveport.
In August of 1986, Cintas purchased the commercial cleaning services side of the partnership, while Frank Kean III kept the twenty-eight retail stores, routes, and package plants. Kean’s The Cleaner transitioned from a large local company to a specialized laundry and dry-cleaning service marketed to individuals.
April 2, 2001 Rock Rockenbaugh began his career at Kean’s as CFO. Over the next two years, Rock became managing partner, sharing responsibilities with Kean.
On March 27, 2003, ownership of Kean’s changed families when Rock and Missy Rockenbaugh purchased the company.
Stephen Rockenbaugh takes over operations from his father, and is proud to continue the Kean’s Dry Cleaning legacy, navigating the onset of Covid and beyond.