On his first day at Roslyn High School, Queens native David Agaev met Tomer Kort in the school’s cafeteria.
“We were friends from first sight,” Kort said.
What began at Roslyn High was not only a friendship but a business partnership, realized with the upcoming opening of their dry cleaning store, the Roslyn Cleaners.
“We always knew we would open up a business together,” Kort said.
Both young men, who graduated from Roslyn High in 2017, have been interested in business “since day one,” Kort said, and have family backgrounds in it.
Agaev’s father owns a Manhattan nursing agency, and Kort’s father works in commercial real estate. Both also have distant relatives in Israel who own dry cleaners.
“My last trip to Israel was a few years ago before we started this business, and so I spent a little time there to see their process and what it was,” Kort said.
Combined with Agaev’s work at a local dry cleaner, the friends compared experiences and noticed differences in maintaining the machines and chemicals used abroad.
“In Israel, it’s so much cleaner, and so we tried to bring over some of our concepts here,” Kort said.
With some bank loans and capital from their parents, they began looking for a spot, and found a corner area on Main Street, across from the Ellen J. Ward Memorial Clock Tower.
“We got very lucky, Agaev said. “We were looking at a lot of different places. since this is our hometown, we figured, why not support our own community?”
The Roslyn Chamber of Commerce, which Kort says has been “supportive and welcoming,” is planning a grand opening for the cleaners next month.
Kort also came up with an idea of a phone app to facilitate purchases, services and file receipts for customers, which resulted in the creation of an app called, fittingly “The Roslyn Cleaners.”
Additionally, all first-time customers will receive a $10 credit and a garment bag in which to drop off clothes, and the shop offers free pickup and deliver locally.
“We’re going toward more modern, by having more tech and an app, which makes it easier for everyone,” Agaev said. “No one wants paper receipts anymore.”
The partners say that they have faced some judgment on their youth.
“The fact that we’re young, people sometimes assume, what do these kids know, what are these kids doing,” Kort said. “Because of it we really have to raise the bar for ourselves. we work very, very hard in everything we do.”
But the store’s steps toward modernity don’t mean neglecting tradition. In the front window, two-decades-old sewing machines that Agaev acquired from a contact in Brooklyn are on prominent display. Kort says they will be regularly used for tailoring orders.
“Sometimes the old-fashioned way is always the best,” Kort said.