Our History

Kean’s Dry Cleaning History Goes Back to 1900 in Baton Rouge

Learn about Kean’s rich dry cleaning history that goes back to the beginning of the 20th century to today. We are proud to have such an extensive history in the great city of Baton Rouge, and hope to continue adding more great moments to our timeline.

1900

The Beginning

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.

1900
1906

Kean Bros. Moves

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.

1906
1914

Kean’s Introduces Dry Cleaning

By the time WWI began, shirt collars were sown into shirts, reducing the need to have pressed collars. The brothers introduced dry cleaning.

1914
1924

Plant Fire Pushes Kean’s to Convention and South 19th

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.

1924
1940s

Second Generation Joins Kean’s

In the 1940s, Frank’s sons Wilbur, Frank, and Gordon joined the company.

1940s
Late 1960s

Third Generation Joins Kean’s

In the latter 1960s, Frank Kean III, John Kean III, and W. Amiss Kean, the third generation, joined the company.

Late 1960s
1970s

Kean’s Expands Its Services

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.

1970s
Early 1980s

Covering South Louisiana

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.

Early 1980s
1986

Cintas Purchases Commercial Side of Kean’s

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 very large local company to a specialized laundry and dry-cleaning service marketed to individuals.

1986
2001

Kean’s Gets a New CFO

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.

2001
2003

Kean’s Welcomes New Leadership

On March 27, 2003, ownership of Kean’s changed families when Rock Rockenbaugh purchased the company.

2003

After Hurricane Katrina, the recession of 2008, and the acceleration of casual wear in the office, dry clean pieces were declining at the rate of 2-3 pieces per day per store. Kean’s started closing stores in 2011 and by September of 2015 reduced the number of locations to six. We added a seventh store in October of 2017 and business remains steady.

Over the past 100 years, our company faced many hardships, but we never lost our devotion to the state of Louisiana or our passion for clothing. Kean’s continues to triumph, while delivering high-quality cleaned clothes with excitement, enthusiasm, and energy. We continue to support the LSU Library Foundation, Attire for Hire, and contribute cleaning certificates to many other organizations.

After Hurricane Katrina, the recession of 2008, and the acceleration of casual wear in the office, dry clean pieces were declining at the rate of 2-3 pieces per day per store. Kean’s started closing stores in 2011 and by September of 2015 reduced the number of locations to six. We added a seventh store in October of 2017 and business remains steady.

Over the past 100 years, our company faced many hardships, but we never lost our devotion to the state of Louisiana or our passion for clothing. Kean’s continues to triumph, while delivering high-quality cleaned clothes with excitement, enthusiasm, and energy. We continue to support the LSU Library Foundation, Attire for Hire, and contribute cleaning certificates to many other organizations.