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!

1921
1924
1926
1929
1933
1946
1952
1957
1969
1973
1975
1979
1988
1991
1993
1999
2000
2001
2003
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012 & 2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2021

1921

John P. O’Connell & George C. Buik purchase Very Best Laundry at Roscoe & Southport, where they wash customer-owned uniforms

1921

1924

Roscoe adds Uniform Rental to Services

1924

1926

Roscoe begins washing customer-owned rags – one of the earliest recycling initiatives

We move to Harrison St. (Existing Location)

1926

1929

Roscoe adds Shop Towels to rental line

1929

1933

Chicago World’s Fair – Roscoe supplies rental uniforms to the General Motors & Ford Assembly plants as well as fair maintenance & grounds crew

1933

1946

The Buik Family purchases shares from O’Connells

1946

1952

Floor Mats & Dust Mops are added to rental line

1952

1957

Purchase of “Garden” plant

1957

1969

Donald Buik is promoted to president

1969

1973

Donald Buik purchases all shares

1973

1975

Roscoe installs the industry’s first water treatment

1975

1979

Jim Buik (current owner) starts working at Roscoe

1979

1988

Donald Buik is awarded the Community Spirit Award

1988

1991

Jim Buik is promoted to President

1991

1993

Roscoe implements barcoding & automated sorting

1993

1999

Roscoe is awarded the Governor’s Pollution Prevention Award

1999

2000

Jim Buik purchases shares and Donald Buik retires after 56 years with Roscoe

Roscoe’s PACT

2000

2001

Roscoe earns ISO Certification

2001

2003

RF chips are added to both mats & uniforms

2003

2007

Roscoe launches new “Take Pride” branding

2007

2008

Roscoe initiates PRIDE Core Values

2008

2009

Consolidation and modernization of the existing plant

2009

2010

Roscoe is awarded the TRSA Sustainability Innovations Award

2010

2011

Roscoe celebrates 90 years

2011

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.

2012 & 2014

2015

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.

2015

2016

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

2016

2017

Installation of new Kannegiesser Sorting System

2017

2018

Roscoe earns TRSA Hygienically Clean Certification and OSHA SHARP Certification (Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program)

2018

2019

Jim Buik serves second term as TRSA Chairman

2019

2021

Roscoe’s 100 year anniversary!