And with many other good feelings such as humanity, resourcefulness, creativity. This is how the history of this industrial laundry structure located in Cherasco, in the region of Cuneo, born from the stubbornness of the two young Giuliano brothers for embracing a family business after seeing the T-shirts of the Juve football team entrusted for cleaning to mama Bruna’s small laundry shop. Today Top Clean serves about 400 hotels, with around forty employees

Luca Giuliano standing between his brother Ivan and his mother Bruna

But there must be a reason why “laundry” rhymes with “sympathy”, right? Perhaps because there are being washed the T-shirts of Juve, and not only Mrs Clara’s suits, and also because there are producing masks together with the partners from Salerno… A business created a dozen years ago apparently from nothing, as the result of a youthful dream, and yet becoming a point of reference for about 400 customers in the hospitality sector scattered between Piedmont and Liguria. On the other hand, if you arrive at Top Clean, you must meet the two owners, the two dreamer brothers Luca 32 years old and Ivan Giuliano 27, and you are immediately immersed into a story full of that strange “thing” called humanity, perceived not as mankind, but as the way how men and women give their best in terms of generosity, kindness and sympathy.

It shouldn’t be neglected either the dash of adventure, which is never a bad thing while you start looking towards your future when you are young. “Well, you know, when you’re just a boy that is discovering the Juventus T-shirts inside the washing machines in the mum’s laundry shop, your vision about the family business work suddenly changes,” says Luca Giuliano, remembering the summers when he was still a teenager in the small laundry shop run by mum Bruna, in Peveragno. It is a small village located just a few kilometres away from Chiusa di Pesio, a Piedmontese cosy welcoming town chosen by the Juventus football club as a training camp for its main football team and for the youth teams. “It’s like having the proof that the whole world can spin inside that drum,” remembers the businessman who, motivated by that impression, once he became 18, decided to follow his mother’s footsteps but in his own way.

“It happened to join my mother to the bank for depositing the necessary signatures for the purchase of a property,” reveals Luca Giuliano, “when I realised that it is not so complicated to obtain a credit. So, I went back in and asked for a financing for opening an industrial laundry business from scratch”. This question didn’t remain at the stage of request, as from that day on, Luca Giuliano started to keep constant relations with the credit institute, where he also presented a first business plan, at a certain point. “It was a printer’s sheet divided in half between expenses and revenues,” explains the co-owner of Top Clean, “but it served nevertheless to break the ice, let’s say it played an important role in obtaining the loan”. The loan arrived in 2011, after two years of negotiations with the bank, finally “conquered” by such an outburst of ideas, that allowed Luca Giuliano to turn his dream into reality.

An impossible step without the indispensable support of his brother Ivan, “still at school at the time”, explains the eldest Giuliano, “but that was already prepared to divide his time between the company and his high school exams, with an absolutely fantastic dedication to the cause”. This is how Top Clean is born, an industrial laundry located in Cherasco, always in the Cuneo region, at the beginning concentrating it activity mainly to commissions on behalf of third parties, such as carpets and duvets contracted by various artisan cleaners. Within a few years, it achieved a turnover of almost one million euros, 85% derived from services provided to hundreds of laundries in the area, while the remaining 100 thousand euros from the hospitality sector, although limited to just three customers: a hotel, a restaurant and a catering company.

“At this point we make a little bit of calculations to understand that, If we invest in new production lines, perhaps it is the case to bet totally on the hotel business,” says Luca Giuliano, rewinding the film of a story that, marked by the rhythms of Life, is not lacking in dramatic pages. “It is of course impossible for us to forget the passing away of our father, Bartolo Giuliano, who supported us since the foundation of Top Clean,” continues the entrepreneur. His passing away came just before the much-awaited EXPOdetergo International 2018, when we had to choose and purchase the new machines. In the end we went anyway, perhaps because Dad had insisted and recommended us so much to do it, and our lives have turned back again”.

It’s not easy at all, in fact it’s a rollercoaster, but this is precisely the congenial way for the Giuliano brothers, who, as you may have guessed, work to “grow”, and not just to make profit. “We are working door-to-door, dividing our time between Piedmont and Liguria,” reveals Luca Giuliano, “and, slowly slowly, literally consuming two cars in few years, we have created a portfolio of four hundred customers. These are customers that we are serving today with a washing system equipped with four ironing lines, three folding machines and nine pick-up and delivery vehicles”. The numbers are the perfect prove for a business that started from processing eight quintals per week and arrived to the current fifteen tons per day, employing around forty people.

With the ability to adapt to any situation, covid included. As during the 2020 lockdown, the shortage of orders from the hospitality sector was promptly compensated for by the production of masks made in collaboration with a laundry from Salerno, named the Nuova Del Rovo owned by his friend Mariano Senatore. “Mariano has brought the technology and us… the driving force of my brother Ivan,” explains Luca Giuliano, “who was capable of travelling two thousand kilometres on the highway, only with a pizza, to pick up new orders on time”.

But that’s all that it takes to make a million euro during two months when the machines were standing still. “Nowadays it is important to be flexible, but also a little bit chameleonic,” explains the co-owner of Top Clean, “and I sustain this after dealing with customers from Piedmont and Liguria, who are a little bit like day and night, both focused on quality and production volumes, but with completely different mentalities”. Like saying that, inside the washer extractors from Mama Bruna’s shop, along with the Juve T-shirts was spinning the family’s wisdom seed (terribly nice). •

by Stefano Ferrio
Detergo Magazine Number 12, December 2022