Siblings, from left, Olivia Hicks, 12; Payton Hicks, 16; and 14-year-old twins Colby and Caleb do most of the work to operate the laundromat near their family's Main Street diner and convenience store, Everyday Joe's. ISLANDER PHOTO BY BECKY PRITCHARD

Running two businesses, Hicks family keeps busy

BAR HARBOR — Steve and Jessica Hicks, the owners of the diner and convenience store Everyday Joe’s on Main Street, also own the adjacent laundromat, the only coin-operated public laundromat in Bar Harbor.

When their parents took over the laundromat in 2015, little did siblings Payton, Caleb, Colby and Olivia know they’d be running it before long.

Payton, 16, explained, “Dad needed help, so we stepped up to see what we could do to help.”

The first year, Payton said, the four of them helped out occasionally, learning how to do everything. Olivia, the youngest, was eight or nine when they started, the other siblings remember.

Now 12, Olivia and her teenage siblings practically run the place.

The four enterprising teens fit the work in around their school schedule — they are homeschooled — and in the summer. There’s a lot to do to keep a laundromat running, and everyone has specific jobs.

Payton, 16, cleans stainless steel and sweeps. Caleb, 14, vacuums lint from dryers, and cleans the lint traps. Colby, 14, handles the quarters, empties trash and cleans the glass on dryers. Olivia sweeps and fills the laundry detergent machine.

Everyone helps with the mopping, which is done weekly on a rotation. Likewise, they all take turns doing inventory. The kids make the list, and their dad places the order.

“I think a lot of people are surprised when they find out that kids are doing all this,” Payton said.

Becky Pritchard
Former Islander reporter Becky Pritchard covered the town of Bar Harbor and was a park ranger in Acadia for six seasons.
Becky Pritchard

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