On their own: Cottage Grove couple launch auto repair businessLonnie Rogowski spent 30 years fixing cars for someone else. Now he’s working for himself.
By: Scott Wente, South Washington County Bulletin
Lonnie Rogowski spent 30 years fixing cars for someone else.
Now he’s working for himself.
Rogowski and his wife, Sue, recently opened AJacks Automotive Service, a car and truck repair shop on East Point Douglas Road.
Rogowski spent three decades as an auto technician for shops such as Goodyear and Car-X, working in a number of stores around the southeast metro. He said customers were loyal to him and followed him when he changed locations.
“Wherever I would go, they would follow,” he said.
He’s hoping they do the same again. Rogowski is leasing a two-stall garage mixed in among other auto sales and repair businesses facing Highway 61 south of 80th Street. He said being located near competitors is good for his business and for customers.
“It keeps you honest,” he said.
The Rogowskis are pastors of Whirlwind Ministriess and Sonrise Christian Church in Cottage Grove. Lonnie volunteers with the Strawberry Fest Committee and organizes the worship service on the Sunday morning of Strawberry Fest. He said he wants to incorporate community outreach into his business model. Over time that could include offering basic auto maintenance classes to teenagers and single moms, they said.
The Rogowskis said they believe they made the right decision to start their own business and hope to set themselves apart by developing repeat customers who trust their service.
“I want a stable customer base that I know them personally,” Lonnie said. “This is a community repair facility.”
Rogowski will do most types of repairs on cars and light-duty trucks, but not tire work.
So where did the name AJacks come from?
The business is named after Lonnie’s father, Albert, and Sue’s father, Jack. They decided a decade ago that if they opened their own shop, it would be in honor of their fathers.
“They taught us a good work ethic,” Lonnie said.
AJacks Automotive Service, 7510 East Point Douglas Road, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and by appointment on Saturday. For more information, call (651) 414-9001.