Costa Violaris: C&A Drycleaners

9 Mar

Everyone has a story. Estate agent Anthony Pepe celebrated the opening of its new office in Highbury with a glossy magazine, ‘Peptalk’, which is full of locals’ tips about where they live. Here’s one of the interviews – a Q&A with Costa Violaris from C&A Drycleaners on Highbury Park. Edited by Nicola Baird.

Costa from C&A Drycleaning at XX Highbury Park. (c) Anthony Pepe

Costa Violaris from C&A Drycleaners at 115 Highbury Park. (c) Anthony Pepe

Why being friendly has been the key to success at C&A Drycleaners
Born in Cyprus, Costa Violaris moved to the Highbury area in 1962 as a young boy and hasn’t left. What you may not know is that he used to be a resident musician. After he married and had children, the long nights and subsequently not seeing his children enough led to the decision to leave his musical life. His father owned a shop and Costa decided to take it over – but what to do with it?

“I was just looking out of the window one day and I saw this guy walking all the way down to the end of the road for dry cleaning. He was holding the clothes. And then he was coming back without the clothes, and I thought ‘Ah, that’s not a bad idea, let’s do this’. So we did it.”

Q: Has the business changed over the past 36 years?
“The industry norm is to use harsh solvents but about eight years ago we changed over to the environmentally friendly, Eco-Solve. It has been a huge success and we have people travelling from all over for their dry cleaning, as they want an environmentally friendly solution. We are greener and cleaner.”

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C&A Drycleaners are specialist eco cleaners – just by the bus stop.

Q: How important is the local community to you?
“Very important. I know them all almost by name, and sometimes they just come in to put their clothes on the counter and leave and I know who they belong to! It’s a very trusting area here. My customers are not just customers but friends.”

Q: What makes a successful local business?
“It’s got to be the service. At the end of the day you have to pay attention to detail and keep doing a good job. People have to trust and know that you are genuine; this is the most important thing.”

This interview was originally published in Peptalk (issue 03, 2015) and reprinted by kind permission of Anthony Pepe estate agents.

  • C&A Drycleaners is at 115 Highbury Park. Tel: 020 7226 0432
  • Anthony Pepe’s new Highbury Branch is opposite C&A Drycleaners at 100 Highbury Park, N5 2XE. Tel: 020 7704 2100
  • Anthony Pepe sell and rent homes but also have a meeting room they plan to let local groups use.

Over to you
If you’d like to nominate someone to be interviewed who grew up, lives or works in Islington, or suggest yourself, please let me know, via at Thank you.

If you liked this interview please SHARE on twitter or Facebook or join the Facebook group. Even better follow (see menu top right) or follow me on twitter @nicolabairduk

This blog is inspired by Spitalfields Life written by the Gentle Author.

If you enjoyed this post you might like to look at the A-Z  index, or search Meet Islingtonians to find friends, neighbours and inspiration. Thanks for stopping by. Nicola


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