by Caleb Sebora
HOWARD LAKE, MN Dave Rollins never planned to own a place like PitStop Tire and Auto. But as the new owner, he’d probably say that’s alright.
PitStop Tire and Auto, located just east of Howard Lake on Highway 12, is a car repair and maintenance shop, as well as a convenience store but for Rollins, this is his first venture into auto repair.
“Before I bought the PitStop, I was a launch boat captain on Lake Mille Lacs,” said Rollins. “Before that I was a pastor.”
Rollins, who is originally from Ohio, found his way to Minnesota when he decided to go to college at Crown College in St. Bonifacius for ministry.
“My brother actually went to Crown College, and that’s how I found out about it, but I loved it here and decided to stay.”
After spending time as a pastor in South Dakota and Mille Lacs, and after being a launch boat captain, Rollins found out he had cancer. After defeating it he decided that he wanted to do something where he could spend time with his family. So, he found the PitStop.
“My son, Jon, lives in Hutchinson and actually has a career in auto body,” said Rollins. “After my cancer, I was looking for something to do together. Then I found the PitStop, and it was a good location and a good facility. Everything just kind of worked out.”
Along with Rollins, who is the general manager, and Jon, who is in charge of the auto body portion at the PitStop, is Rollins’ other son, Matt, who is in charge of the food service.
“We’re excited,” said Rollins, as he looked around his shop.
But, with a new owner comes new changes.
“We’re looking to start a pizza and deli delivery service, which wasn’t here before,” said Rollins. “We are also switching to Shell fuel from Profuel, so we will be getting some new signs and a new look. We also want to restructure the parking lot, to make it easier to park.”
Rollins is optimistic about the future. “I would like for there to be a PitStop two and a PitStop three,” Rollins said with a smile. “I’d like to branch out.”
For now, it’s PitStop one, and Dave Rollins couldn’t be any more ready to go.