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Pit Stop in the midst of major re-model
Sept. 1, 2017

Nan Royce
Staff Writer

HOWARD LAKE, MN – The Rollins family, owners of the Pit Stop convenience store, auto repair, and Rollins Classics & Customs in Howard Lake, are making big changes.

Dave and Sandy Rollins never intended to be owners of a steadily growing trio of businesses. They bought the business in June 2016, out of a desire to work with their sons Matthew, and Jonathan and his custom detailing business.

They’re currently in the midst of a big remodel.

The Pit Stop fuel and convenience store

This area of the business is managed by the Rollins’ son, Matt.

The extensive remodel touches both the exterior and interior of the business.

Dave indicated that the re-model will impact almost all elements of the business, from the ground up.

Outside, the changes will include new signage, a 3-foot-by-6-foot message center, and a new canopy to cover state-of-the-art, blend-at-the-pump fuel pumps.

The family is most excited about the new fuel pumps, because, not only will they feature TV screens displaying current events and weather information, but they’ll also be able to mix E15, E30, and E85 fuel blends.

Flex-fuel vehicle owners will be able to pick the best fuel mix for their conveyances right at the pump, saving cash in the process.

Interior changes to the convenience store will include new paint, flooring, cabinets, and a computer system, as well as updated LED lighting, and new kitchen equipment that makes food prep go even faster.

Dave and Sandy are proud of their updated deli, and say customers are often surprised to see its extensive menu, which rivals a restaurant in the number of selections offered. Everything is freshly made. Breakfast sandwiches, pizza, chicken wings, appetizers and subs are popular items, and Sandy’s freshly-baked cookies “go like mad.”

The owners constantly brain-storm about unique food offerings and are thinking about adding waffle machines in the future.

The Pit Stop Automotive Shop

This branch of the business offers auto repair and full vehicle service. Mechanics use diagnostic equipment and tools designed to quickly discover and help fix automotive problems. The modern garage also offers a complete range of tires for cars, light and heavy trucks, tractors, and heavy equipment.

The shop offers a 10-minute oil change option, even without an appointment.

Rollins Classics & Customs

This area of the business is Jonathan’s pride and joy. His mother, Sandy, related that Jonathan’s first word was “truck.” His second word was “car.” Through the years, his focus hasn’t changed much.

His area of the shop spotlights collision repair, full restoration and custom paint work.

Jonathan has more than a decade of experience in this line of work. He spent nine years doing detailing work for a business at which $100,000 would buy a base-model luxury vehicle.

He next spent five years as a lead painter at a General Motors plant, and then taught his craft for a year at a school in Willmar.

Jonathan is delighted to have his own shop, and has invested heavily in quality equipment to turn out primo painted products.

“We’re the best-kept secret in town,” he said. “It just takes time to build up your reputation.”

The shop is also an authorized dealer for Raceline Wheels, Kicker stereo equipment, Viper, and Rough Country suspension systems.

Rollins Customs & Classics is not limited to auto work. Jonathan has the ability to custom-paint boats, motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles, mailboxes, guitars, and more.

Jonathan is easy to spot as he travels around – he’s either driving an intensely lime green Jeep, or a 1950s Dodge dump truck, soon to be remodeled into a tow truck for the business.

The Rollins family encourages people to stop in for a visit during the Pit Stop’s grand opening, beginning Friday, Sept. 15, to check out all the changes. The Pit Stop will be offering daily food specials, fuel discounts, and door prizes.

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