Castle Pines Cleaners
Simple pleasures and work
Article and photo by Kathy Fallert
Jack and Kay Yi stay very busy with dry cleaning and wet cleaning. The second owners of Castle Pines Cleaners, the Yis have been in business for 15 years. Both originally from South Korea, the couple met and married in Seattle 27 years ago.
Kay’s family originally moved to Alaska when Kay was just 10 years old. She remarked, “My parents only survived one year in Alaska. My dad said, ‘This place is not meant for people to live!’ One winter was enough.” The family headed straight south in pursuit of a warmer climate and called Seattle their home.
Jack moved to Seattle about eight years later. After Jack and Kay met and married, the couple owned a convenience store in Spokane in a 100-year-old building. They were in business there for the next 12 years. After taking a trip to Colorado, Jack fell in love with the state and the weather and said, “We have to move there!” The couple now lives in Highlands Ranch.
The Yis have two sons, Thomas (26) and Edward (23). Thomas is graduating from Metropolitan State University this spring and plans to go into social work. Edward graduated from Colorado School of Mines in software engineering. Edward adopted a dog while in college named Haru who is half husky and half malamute. When Edward decided to accept a job in Montana, he asked his parents to keep the dog for him. Kay commented, “At first we said, ‘No, this won’t work!’ But we took him, and now we are so in love with Haru. He is our grandbaby!”
When asked about their hobbies, Kay said she enjoys drawing and painting. What subject does she like the most? “Well, right now it’s my dog,” she quipped. Jack used to golf but gave that up due to lack of time. Jack gets up at 4:30 in the morning to go to work and doesn’t make it home until 8:00 at night Monday through Friday. He might make it home by 7 p.m. on a Saturday, and Sundays he sleeps. “He’s a workaholic!” said Kay. “He’s never home.”
“Our only date is on Sundays. We go to Starbucks to get drinks and a puppuccino for Haru then we go to the dog park. That’s it! That’s all we do, and then we go home,” said Kay. The reason they chose a cleaning business instead of their previous convenience store is the hours, and it also suits Jack who is very meticulous. At the convenience store, the hours were practically 24/7 with Jack only sleeping three hours a night. Having Sundays off and shorter hours the rest of the week is a nice change.
Jack truly enjoys having a business in Castle Pines. He said, “We love the people here! They are so nice and kind and generous. I advertised in The Connection twice last year just to say ‘thank you’ to our customers. We have very regular customers, some for 10 years. They move to Monument, DTC, Parker, Elizabeth and even Silverthorne, and they save up their cleaning and bring it to us. We are so grateful, and they are all so good to us. I love my relationship with the customers and taking care of them.”