MARSHALL - Things seem have a way of working out for the Andrews family, who recently started a new vehicle cleaning and small engine repair business in Marshall called The Repair and Detail Shop.
James Andrews owned his first businesses - Lakeside Service Center - until he was struck with cancer. After recovering, he built up JAC Transport and eventually sold that out. Then, Andrews began working at Hydroswing before the company went under. Most recently, he worked at Icon Doors in Minneota, but was laid off.
"I've always been good with vehicles and it's hard to find a job around here, so I decided to try it on my own," Andrews said. "There's actually only one other place in town that cleans cars, so I thought we could make it work."
Photo by Jenny Kirk
New business owners James and Angie Andrews of Marshall stand next to their truck, which advertises their business, The Repair and Detail Shop.
The Andrews family will operate the business year-round.
"We want to keep everybody's car clean," Andrews said. "Like our motto says, 'Your Vehicle Will Thank You.'"
While Andrews considers himself to be the worker bee type, his wife Angie does the accounting for the business and son Chance helps out when he can.
"I did all the paperwork when we owned JAC (Jimmy, Angie, Chance) Transport," Angie Andrews said. "That was an over-the-road trucking company. So I'm used to it. We do offer gift certificates, too."
Anyone in interested in having their vehicle cleaned or have small engine repair needs, can set up an appointment or get a free estimate.
"I have people give me a call," James Andrews said. "I do free pick-up and delivery within the city limits. I've had quite a few satisfied customers already."
Potential customers are also encouraged to go to the business website at TheRepairShop.vpweb.com to check package rates.
"We clean the cars, inside and out," Andrews said. "We do clean the outside, to get all the impurities out of the paint and then do the waxing on top because it brings out a better shine. We do all the interior. We can even get gum out of the seats with a solvent. It just takes a little time."
Andrews decided not to get into major repairs because it takes too much time. But he doesn't mind doing minor repairs, like throwing a water pump on or changing a transmission filter.
"When you get into the major repairs, it usually takes a good day or day and a half," he said. "It's just too much time to hold up on a stall."
Andrews also specializes in any small engine work, including snow mobiles, lawnmowers, snow blowers, mopeds, outboard marine motors or motorcycles.
"They're swamped here in town, all the places that have repair shops," Andrews said. "I also put small engine repair in there because I do have a degree in that."
Andrews recently got an account with Breyfogle Auto, cleaning their cars inside and out.
"Everything's going really well," he said.
But things weren't necessarily going so well for the Andrews family about nine years ago.
"It was crazy how we found the cancer," Andrews said. "I had hit myself on the corner of a desk. It kept hurting, so I went to doctors."
Eventually, one of those doctors told Andrews he had cancer and that he needed to undergo rigorous chemotherapy. Since he was 'young and strong,' Andrews said he did three months of chemo, all compressed into nine weeks.
"It was wild," he said. "But if they wouldn't have found it, it would have been a lot worse. I'm completely cancer-free now and I've got my hair back."
In 2004, the couple lived in Slayton and Andrews received treatments at the local hospital.
"It worked really well," Angie Andrews said. "James did four hours of chemo every day."
In August of 2003, she said, her husband finished the chemo, but in January of 2004, ended up having a major surgery.
"They did a lymph node dissection," she said.
James Andrews recalls that it was two surgeries because of difficulties after being sent home after the initial surgery.
"The first time was just to see what was in there," he said. "I was in the hospital for seven days and got sent home. That same night, I was all gray and my tummy was pushed way out. It was full of blood. They rushed me to Sioux Falls (S.D.). I just about died. My heart was up to 241 beats a minute."
Fortunately, Andrews pulled through, endured a second surgery and was able to greet his newborn son, a miracle, the couple said.
"We actually named him 'Chance' because he's our only child," Andrews said. "He's the only kid we can ever have because of my cancer. So he's our 'Chance' at life."
Chance Andrews celebrated his golden birthday Sunday, turning 8 on Easter Day.
"Chance helps me after school after he's done with his homework," James Andrews said. "Then on weekends, he does tires and cleans up inside. He's quite the helper."