The Pilgrim story began with Philip Haspel in 1945, when he purchased McGlaughlin’s Pilgrim Cleaners, on 28th and Nicollet.
In 1921, teenage Phil Haspel and his family immigrated to Minneapolis, from what is now Ukraine. Haspel delivered dry cleaning in the 1930s, and became interested in clothing care. He purchased Falcon Cleaners in Saint Paul, then in 1945, he purchased McGlaughlin’s Pilgrim Cleaners in Minneapolis.
Phil Haspel soon opened more locations under the Pilgrim name, as his original Pilgrim plant processed all of their dry cleaning and laundry.
During the 1950’s, Haspel opened locations with on-premises dry cleaning to offer same-day service. He named these locations, Johnny-On-The-Spot. As Pilgrim did laundry for Johnny, many locations bore both the Pilgrim and Johnny-On-The-Spot names. In addition to his twenty some Johnny’s in the Twin Cities, Haspel opened about twenty more in neighboring states. By 1972, the out-of-state locations were sold, and the others were rebranded as Pilgrim Cleaners.
Throughout his career, Phil Haspel also operated Haspel Brothers with his brother Louis, which specialized in wholesale laundry and fur care.
In 1958, Haspel opened an innovative drive-through concept, called Lady Haspel, on 66th and Lyndale.
Additionally, in the early 1960’s, Haspel opened six locations operating with a new concept he developed: Full service laundry and dry cleaning, self-service coin operated dry cleaning, as well as a self-service laundry, for all-in-one convenience.
1964, Haspel’s daughter and son-in-law, Arlene and Jerry Fingerman, joined the company full time. When building this Southdale location, the Fingermans took special interest, and were integral in its design and functionality. They realized the need for high-quality dry cleaning, along with the convenience of processing on-premises for Same-Day Service. For additional convenience, Fingermans included a state-of-the-art coin laundry for the booming new Southdale neighborhood.
With Jerry supervising Haspel’s operation, they expanded the company to over fifty Pilgrim locations throughout greater Minneapolis, and approximately twenty five Falcon locations throughout St. Paul.
In 1984, due to Haspel’s health concerns, he and the Fingermans sold all but this 66th and Vincent location, which has been a fixture in the Southdale area of Edina and Richfield since 1965.
Phil Haspel’s philosophy was based on a simple idea: Provide the finest clothing care possible.
Over seventy five years, and four generations later, we have never wavered from Haspel’s commitment. Today, Phil Haspel’s grandson, Jim Fingerman and his family, continue to operate with Haspel’s same unwavering standards to provide you with the finest clothing care possible.
The Dry Cleaning & Laundry Institute™
The Minnesota Cleaners Association™
Neighborhood Cleaners Association™
Coin Laundry Association™
Two Time Nominee for the Minnesota Business Ethics Award