Century of Pride
George C. Buik and John P. O’Connell were two young entrepreneurs who in 1921 thought they saw a market niche in rapidly industrializing Chicago. As smokestacks blossomed and the work force grew in that booming decade, there was a growing demand for someone – other than the wife at home – to launder work clothes. They pooled their resources and the Roscoe Overall Laundry was born. More than eight decades later, its name long since changed to The Roscoe Company, it has since moved to Harrison and Central Park alongside the Eisenhower. Roscoe is now owned and operated by Jim Buik, grandson of founder George Buik, leading the company into the third generation.
As a locally-owned and operated industrial laundry, Roscoe team members understand the Chicago marketplace and the needs of their customers. Roscoe takes pride in the image-enhancing and money-saving benefits their products deliver to a wide variety of customers with unparalleled responsiveness by a dedicated service team.
They are regularly expanded their products and services to meet the needs of their customers, greatly expanding their line of uniforms, from traditional uniforms to executive wear – from the shop floor to the board room. Using the best quality and largest variety of mats in the marketplace, Roscoe offers a complete mat system to reduce dirt and wear in office areas, and increase safety and comfort in work areas. They also offer a variety of facility services, such as room deodorizers, paper and soap products, and continual roll towels, as well as linen services, such as aprons and bar towels.
While Roscoe historically distinguished themselves in the market with their approach to service, their competitive edge emanated from the heart. Thus, the old Roscoe slogan, “Delivering a better company image” gave way to “Take Pride.” Similarly, the company logo, appearing dated with block style lettering positioned over waves symbolizing water, was phased out and replaced by the image of a lion.
“The lion is regal, symbolic of a company with great people who take pride in doing a good job for our customers,” Owner Jim Buik says. At the same time, that image is aggressive and dominant. A lion dominates its territory, so as a corporate icon, the big cat reflects a business on top of its game. When viewed in conjunction with the new slogan, Roscoe’s lion conveys dignity and self-respect.
Roscoe’s dominance is exemplified by its pioneering spirit to incorporate technologies and processes that are not only good for their customers but also for the environment. Utilizing modern-day best practices in recycling and reuse since its inception in 1921, Roscoe was a pioneer in the 1970s when the push for cleaner water and more responsible chemical usage was first becoming a sensitive public policy issue. The company was the first industrial laundry in the nation to implement a wastewater pretreatment system, and has worked internally and with suppliers to strengthen its conservation efforts – twice earning the Governor’s Pollution Prevention Award (currently called the Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award) for solid waste reduction.
You, too, can “Take Pride” by calling on Roscoe to meet your uniform, mat and facility needs. Roscoe will partner with you in enhancing your company image, and you can “Take Pride” in enlisting one of the “greenest” launderers, in turn increasing your company’s conservation efforts. Call us and we’ll show you how!
John P. O’Connell & George C. Buik purchase Very Best Laundry at Roscoe & Southport, where they wash customer-owned uniforms
Roscoe adds Uniform Rental to Services
Roscoe begins washing customer-owned rags – one of the earliest recycling initiatives
We move to Harrison St. (Existing Location)
Roscoe adds Shop Towels to rental line
Chicago World’s Fair – Roscoe supplies rental uniforms to the General Motors & Ford Assembly plants as well as fair maintenance & grounds crew
The Buik Family purchases shares from O’Connells
Floor Mats & Dust Mops are added to rental line
Purchase of “Garden” plant
Donald Buik is promoted to president
Donald Buik purchases all shares
Roscoe installs the industry’s first water treatment
Jim Buik (current owner) starts working at Roscoe
Donald Buik is awarded the Community Spirit Award
Jim Buik is promoted to President
Roscoe implements barcoding & automated sorting
Roscoe is awarded the Governor’s Pollution Prevention Award
Jim Buik purchases shares and Donald Buik retires after 56 years with Roscoe
Roscoe earns ISO Certification
RF chips are added to both mats & uniforms
Roscoe launches new “Take Pride” branding
Roscoe initiates PRIDE Core Values
Consolidation and modernization of the existing plant
Roscoe is awarded the TRSA Sustainability Innovations Award
Roscoe celebrates 90 years
2012 & 2014
Roscoe becomes Clean Green Certified for our Best Management Practices of water reuse, reclamation and removal and green efforts throughout our plant and outside of the plant. Some of these include the use of T8 fluorescent lights with motion sensors and skylights, the recycling of hangers, cardboard boxes and pallets, the use of linen laundry bags instead of plastic disposable bags and the use of Route Optimization software that reduces mileage and fleet fuel consumption.
New installation of LED lights in production areas helps us reduce kilowatts consumed for lighting by over 40%. LEDs typically use 25-80% less energy and last 3-25 times longer than traditional incandescent, in addition to the countless benefits it provides in worker safety and productivity.
Another way we go green in 2015 is via solid waste reduction by de-watering liquid sludge and additional water recycling.
Roscoe celebrates 95 years
RFID chips are converted to Ultra-High RFID chips so thousands of garments can be scanned at once
Roscoe is awarded the TRSA Sustainability Award and Illinois Sustainability Award
Julia Buik starts working at Roscoe full-time
Installation of new Kannegiesser Sorting System
Roscoe earns TRSA Hygienically Clean Certification and OSHA SHARP Certification (Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program)
Jim Buik serves second term as TRSA Chairman
Roscoe’s 100 year anniversary!