KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In celebrating its 75th anniversary, an independent, family-owned uniform and image-enhancement service provider has renamed itself in honor of its founder.
AAA Uniform Services, headquartered in Kansas City, and Shepherd’s Uniform and Linen Supply, with facilities in Dallas, Houston and Beaumont, Texas, have combined under the new name Ace ImageWear. The Heilman family owns Ace, and its second- and third-generation family members run the company.
“Ace Heilman, my grandfather, founded our company in 1932,” explains Ed Heilman, who works in the Kansas City office. “Our 75th year in business seemed like the perfect time to bring both companies under one name and honor our founder. Ace did business on a first-name basis, and so do we, so naming our family-owned-and-operated company after him made sense.”
Ed “Ace” Heilman and his wife, Clara, used $1,800 in savings to start Ace Linen Service & Laundry in 1932. The company grew during the next two decades, and Ace and his sons renamed the company AAA Linen Services in the 1950s to optimize its Yellow Pages placement.
In 1979, the Heilmans purchased Shepherd’s Uniform and Linen Supply in Beaumont, Texas. Shepherd’s was founded in 1890, and the Heilmans kept the name due to its high recognition.
“Shepherd’s grew over the next few decades, expanding out of Beaumont into Dallas, Houston and Lafayette, La.,” says David Heilman from the Beaumont office. “Having all of the Shepherd’s operations under the name Ace ImageWear makes it much easier to tell our family-owned story.”
In addition to uniform rental and lease services, Ace ImageWear outfits its clients’ locations with mats, mops, towels, aprons, restroom products and microfiber products.
“We’re not in the uniform business. We’re in the image business,” says Jim Heilman from the Houston office. “Studies show that decision-makers at the customers we serve believe more than ever that a uniform service provider benefits the corporate image, and not just the uniform wearers.”
Ace serves clients in a variety of industries, including automotive sales and repair, petrochemicals, bioscience, health services, manufacturing, food service and more.