From boat people to business owners The Son Le family, owners of King Cleaners, have been happily serving the Kingwood area since 1994. Le and wife Rose Tran have built a large base of customers who keep coming back. One reason could be the store’s dry cleaning rates, which have not changed since they opened their first store in Kingwood 11 years ago. Putting their trust in the customers, they have a policy of never asking for driver’s license or identification. In the area of hot checks, Le said they’ve had approximately $200 total and those were not from people in Kingwood. Le was looking for a good location to start his business in 1994 and he told a friend to let him know when a location in a good neighborhood became available. “I opened a store on Kingwood Drive next to Blockbuster and brought my kids from the schools in the Memorial area to Kingwood. We love it here,” said Le. Eventually, the original location was sold and they opened a new store in 1997 at 2815 W. Lake Houston Parkway in Kingwood. In 2006, Le turned the dry cleaning business over to new management. A year later, they returned. When former customers learned the Le family was back, they returned and renewed their business relationship. “Customers were happy to see us come back,” said Le. Refugees from South Vietnam, Le and his wife made the difficult decision to leave their country and try to make their way to America. They were part of a group of 60 people on a small boat crossing the ocean with a course set for the U.S. Le said more than half a million people died trying to get to the U.S. during the takeover of South Vietnam by the North Vietnam government. “I appreciate what America did for my people. We are three million strong in the U.S. today with many here who are doctors and many even in the White House,” said Le. He said their family realized that in this country anyone can be successful if they are smart and apply themselves. The couple plans to remain in the U.S. with their three children. They hope to continue serving King Cleaners customers for a long time. “We have 15 years here with our customers and I want to thank them for their business,” said Le. Photo: Rose Tran and Son Le, owners of King Cleaners in Kingwood, wish to extend a ‘thank you’ to all of their customers, both new and old, who have chosen King Cleaners for their dry cleaning needs. Photo by Trilla Cook