They used to stop by the Car Wash for a homemade cookie on their way to school; or perhaps to grab a Gatorade on their way to a ball game.
Now the Kueter brothers own the place.
The Car Wash, a locally owned gas station, convenience store and car wash on State Street, has been owned by Jerry and Karen Theisen since 1983.
It has been sold to Chase and Devon Kueter, who will officially take over operations beginning October 1.
Chase Kueter, who is well known for his ball playing skills and with the Bellevue Braves, just graduated from the University of Dubuque this past May with a degree in business and marketing. Brother Devon, will graduate from UD as well next year, also with a degree in business and marketing.
The brothers, 2015 and 2017 graduates of Belevue High School, are the sons of Terry and Lynette Kueter of Bellevue.
“We both wanted to stick around our hometown after graduating from college, so this seemed like a really great opportunity,” said Chase. “It’s a well-established business in Bellevue and very successful.”
The Kueters plan to continue that success by working hard and making very few changes to the already popular business.
“We’ll pretty much keep in the same with minor improvements over time,” said Devon.
Over the decades, the Theisen family has expanded and made improvements to the Car Wash, which has become an icon in the Bellevue community.
Previously owned by Donny Michels, the Theisens purchased the business while Jerry was a school teacher at St. Joseph’s Elementary. The original store was created by Greg Welch in 1969, and at that time, it was just a 10-foot by 10-foot building.
The Theisens added new gas pumps and a new canopy in 1990 when Jerry decided to dedicate all his time to the Car Wash and retire from teaching.
In 1991, the Theisens expanded the store to add food, a coffee bar and homemade pies and cookies; and added bread, butter and eggs. They also remodeled the building, added windows and made it bright and clean looking.
And of course, with the location of the Car Wash, a lot of traffic comes from Bellevue Community and Marquette High Schools.
Karen created a special ‘candy store’ that became quite popular and the Theisens also started stocking the individual drinks and non-carbonated beverages.
The Theisens say that they put a lot of work and time into the business of the past three decades, and with the help of a lot of great employees, have been successful and are glad to hand off the business to the Kueters.
“We appreciate the support of the local customers and the people over the past 36 years,” said Jerry. “We enjoy being part of and supporting the schools and community. We know that will continue under the ownerships of the Kueters.”