A car wash that opened in 1957 is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, and the owners are just as invigorated as its founder was six decades ago. John Anderson grew tired of the Pennsylvania winters and moved south to start a new life in the booming Gulf coast of Florida. He couldn’t have predicted just how much Southwest Florida would take off.
Now, Johnny’s Car Wash is celebrating its anniversary in Sarasota Magazine, which profiled the company for the occasion.
“Johnny’s is an icon in the car wash business,” said Randy Nychyk, who purchased the company from the original family owners in 2013. [The owners] personally contacted us to see if we might be interested in it. There’s quite a bit of nostalgia there and it’s honor to carry forward. Some people look at the age of Johnny’s as a discount. We looked at it as an asset.”
The ownership might be new, but many faces from way back remain at Johnny’s. David Dean has worked at Johnny’s for 44 years, and MaryAnn Gaines has worked her way from cashier to manager over 27 years. Ronnie McKinnon Jr. is a 25-year staple. His father retired after 47 years at Johnny’s.
Johnny’s focuses on maintaining the value of a car, not just making it sparkle out of the lot that day. Nychyk believes Johnny’s fits into the larger scheme of Americans becoming more specialized and using services instead of doing things on their own. He points out that most people enjoy going out to eat and having others care for their yards, and Johnny’s is a service much the same. Plus, as car values continue to rise, the ability to protect them becomes more important. Outside elements like bug residue and sap can damage paint if left on a car.