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A new adventure

After spending many years in the trucking business, Dean Schroeder decided it was time to start a new chapter in his career

August 23, 2010
By Cindy Votruba

MARSHALL -Dean Schroeder of Cottonwood was looking forward to an entire summer with nothing to do.

Then he found himself buying Southwest Auto Spa and going back to work on July 1.

But he didn't mind; it was a new adventure for him.

Article Photos

Photo by Cindy Votruba
Dean Schroeder, right, and his employee Trey Diggs pose in the shop room of Southwest Auto Spa, which is now located on North U.S. Highway 59.

Schroeder took over ownership of Southwest Auto Spa from Mark VanMeveren earlier in the summer. The business, which does vehicle detailing service, is now located on U.S. Highway 59 North, next to Cattoor's and Geske Home Improvement.

Schroeder said VanMeveren started the business five years ago. Schroeder worked as a dispatcher and did operations for a trucking company in Wood Lake, retiring from that job in April.

"I was basically just going to do nothing for the summer, I was going to take it easy," Schroeder said.

But he had always enjoyed cleaning vehicles.

"I have several vehicles of my own and motorcycles," Schroeder said.

He was cleaning up his pickup truck when he thought he should start a detail shop. His wife noticed an opportunity.

"She mentioned to me that Southwest Auto Spa was for sale," Schroeder said. "I had no idea it existed."

So he got ahold of VanMeveren, the two talked, and "one thing led to another," Schroeder said.

VanMeveren had already moved the business from East College Drive to its new location on June 1.

"That was part of the negotiation, to get a good location," Schroeder said. And so far, it's been a great location, he said, as it's one of the busiest areas around.

Schroeder said he's gotten several walk-in and new customers and thinks the business will grow with time.

"This is the type of business you're busy one day and the next day there's nothing to do," Schroeder said. "But the response from the community has been just wonderful."

Schroeder said his business cleans about any vehicle from "motorhomes to trucks."

"We hope to be around for a long time," Schroeder said.

"And it's relaxing for me," he added. "It's a lot less stressful than what I used to do. It's been fun."



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