Willard’s Laundromat And Café, The Washboard Café

The Washfeoard Cag
Josie Wodtke, Co-Owner of The Washboard Cafe

Walking into The Washboard Café, guests are welcomed by the aromas of brewing coffee and fresh laundry detergent, a one-of-a-kind experience in the Ozarks. In preparation for its two-year anniversary, Willard’s laundromat café has also opened its own in-house donut shop.

The Washboard Café, located at 520 E Jackson St Suite A, Willard, MO 65781. Co-owner Josie Wodtke said she arrives at the café around 3:30 a.m. each morning to start making a fresh batch for the day. Usually, all the pastries are sold by noon.

In addition to traditional glazed donuts and long johns, the café serves muffins, scones, cinnamon rolls, biscuits and gravy with sausage, bagel sandwiches, skillets and parfaits. The menu is in addition to the fully-stocked coffee shop, with traditional and customizable lattes, smoothies, Boba tea, lemonade, iced tea and Lotus Energy-based beverages for folks who want a caffeine kick but may not like the taste of coffee.

Wodtke and her husband, Michael, opened The Washboard Café in June of 2021. Before settling in the area, the Wodtke’s traveled for work, often using laundromats while on the road. For Wodtke, coffee represents peace, especially when thinking about this times of their lives.

“When we would go to a laundromat for work, I hated all these laundromats,” Josie said. “They were nasty, they were dirty. My husband literally would bribe me and say, ‘You know what, if we go do this laundry, we’ll go find you a coffee shop while the stuff is actually washing.'”

The desire to open some sort of laundromat has been on Josie’s bucket list for even longer. One of Josie’s favorite childhood memories was visiting a laundromat with an ice cream parlor inside in Sioux City, Iowa, where she is from. From then on, when asked what she wanted to do when she grew up, Josie said owning a laundromat.

“We have moms who get together; they bring all their laundry and they come in and hang out, so they have their coffee and their kids play,” Josie said. “It’s their time to get out of the house, which I love.”

The Wodtke’s two-year-old son Maverik is also a big part of the café. For the entirety of Washboard’s construction, Josie was pregnant and by the time they hosted their grand opening, Maverik was born.

“This encompasses everything for our family,” Josie said about the café. “I want to be able to teach my son to work hard and what he can get from working hard.”

In September 2021, The Washboard Café was recognized by Planet Laundry, Coin Laundry Association’s magazine, as one of the top seven most interesting laundromats in the country.

The laundromat is open every day at 7 a.m. with last wash starting at 9:30 p.m. The café is open Tuesday through Saturday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. The café’s drive-thru is open Tuesday through Friday 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. In addition to self-service laundry, Washboard offers drop-off services.

For more information visit their Facebook page, Call (417) 685-3226, email washboardw@gmail.com.

Also see: Laundromats USA