The Baltimore Sun

Washing Baltimore’s laundry since 1932

Washing Baltimore’s laundry since 1932

Ricky Tsao holds a photograph of his grandfather, Chak Wing Tsao, in the family's T.C. Wing Chinese Hand Laundry.  His grandfather, who died in 1995, started the business in 1932.

Ricky Tsao holds a photograph of his grandfather, Chak Wing Tsao, in the family’s T.C. Wing Chinese Hand Laundry. His grandfather, who died in 1995, started the business in 1932.

Shirley Tsao, whose family owns TC Wing Laundry in Roland Park, chats with long-time customer Charles Johnson of Baltimore, who is a retired equities trader and investment banker.

Shirley Tsao, whose family owns TC Wing Laundry in Roland Park, chats with long-time customer Charles Johnson of Baltimore, who is a retired equities trader and investment banker.

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Members of the Tsao family have been faithfully washing Baltimore’s shirts, blouses and linens at the T.C. Wing Chinese Hand Laundry in Roland Park since 1932. This is the city’s only remaining Chinese laundry.

Chak Wing Tsao, an immigrant from China, started the business. Since his retirement in 1978, grandson Ricky and his wife Shirley have been carrying on the tradition of customer care and personal attention. Each garment is carefully cleaned and ironed, then wrapped in brown paper and tied with string.

Shirley Tsao is the friendly face behind the counter, who considers her customers members of her family. “I am so fortunate to have the most wonderful customers,” she said. Over the years she has visited them in their homes and attended weddings and special events for 5 generations of families.

Shirley quips that one day, if she ever gets to retire, she’s going to write a book about all the small-town Baltimore stories she hears from her customers. She has the title, but needs time to write the novel. “Dirty Laundry,” is what it will be called, she says with a laugh.

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