Frania Cafe is the first laundromat in Krakow where you can relax while waiting for your washing in a cafe environment, which is a popular feature of life in the U.S. now available locally.
Aleksandra Miarecka opened Frania Cafe in July this year with “Frania” or “Fran,” a well-known washing machine model from Poland’s Communist period. In its day, the Fran was a dream-come-true for Poles in comparison to other options available at the time.Today the Frania takes pride of place in the cafe as a decoration only, “Poles know what a ?Frania’ is, but sometimes people from abroad ask what it is and take pictures of it,” said Miarecka. Frania Cafe is Miarecka’s lifetime dream that she and a friend began developing as a project at university. The combination of an EU grant program for students to develop business initiatives and private financing made the dream a reality.
One of the difficulties they faced in opening the business was finding an affordable location close to Krakow’s major tourist centers. “We wanted to find a place somewhere between the Market Square and Kazimierz,” said Miarecka.
This enables customers to explore Krakow while their clothes are being washed, which takes about 1.5 hours per wash. On one occasion Miarecka said “Two French girls got so involved in partying that they forgot their laundry until the next day.” Frania Cafe’s client base has shifted from mainly tourists in summer to include students now that university has begun. At Frania Cafe laundering is self-service with washing detergent and softener provided. Staff are available if needed and customers are welcome to enjoy a coffee or tea, read newspapers on offer or use the free internet while they wait for their washing to finish. Frequent users of Frania Cafe’s laundromat are rewarded with a free tenth wash.