This is just a great story. Last week, the Evening Call, the local paper of Du Quoin, Ill., ran a short feature article about a couple who wanted to build a new business but didn’t really have any money. The husband, Bob Black, was a teacher, and his wife Mary was a secretary in a radiology office. They told the Evening Call they’d thought about opening a car wash business but didn’t have any capital: just $17.42 to their name.
Bob apparently wasn’t thrilled at first by the idea of self-service car wash. Quarters? How can you run a business on quarters? But one day he was volunteering at a car wash charity event. The Evening Call wrote:
After a long day of drying off cars at a church fund-raiser, Bob ended up helping the owner of the wash empty his safes. “From the time I lifted my first five-gallon bucket of quarters, I was hooked on the car wash business!” Bob says with a smile.
They struggled to find a bank loan to fund the business, but after 12 loan applications, the 13th was successful. They decided to call it Super Wash, and they opened in 1976. They’ve been running it ever since.
With help from Bob’s father, Buryl, the Blacks’ first car wash was under construction that fall, and opened on Nov. 26 amidst one of the coldest winters in Illinois history. But despite the weather, this lone car wash on the edge of town, appropriately named Town’s Edge Car Wash, was a booming success! Six years and five car washes later, the Blacks incorporated as Super Wash, Inc., and were on their way to owning all or part of the over 300 Super Wash facilities they own today.