It’s a time of change and celebration for S&S Truck Repair in Pipestone. In January Dave Sommers sold the business to his stepdaughter, Kayla Smith, and her husband, Greg Smith, and in February the business celebrated 40 years in business.
Dave said it felt good to have been in business for four decades, but that it was hard to believe it had been that long. He and his father, Jim Sommers, started the business in 1983. Jim was the sole owner until Dave bought half of the business in 1986. In 1991, Jim retired and Dave became the sole owner of the business.
Greg and Kayla moved to Pipestone in 2011 when Greg was hired at S&S Truck Repair.
“I basically had a job up north that wasn’t really going anywhere and we were just looking for a change of pace,” Greg said.
That change of pace was the beginning of a career. Greg became the parts manager and two years ago Kayla started working in the front office.
Dave said he’d been considering selling the business, but was concerned about what would happen to his employees if someone else bought it. Greg shared that concern and said he felt comfortable taking over the business due to his experience there.
For now, Greg said his goals were to provide stability and try to grow the business.
“I think the business is rolling pretty well,” he said. “Dave had it set up really well.”
The name of the business will remain the same, but Greg said the S&S would now stand for Smith and Smith rather than Sommers and Sommers, or Sommers and son, as it had when it started 40 years ago.
Dave plans to continue working at S&S Truck Repair in at least a part-time capacity. He said the transition from boss to one of eight employees has removed some of the stress from his life, but has also been a difficult transition.
“Yesterday [Feb. 23] was the first day I ever took off for snow days and didn’t come in and it was a difficult day for me,” Dave said. “I spent the whole day thinking I should be coming in. You’re used to being here everyday, used to doing all that, so those days that I’m not I have to focus and keep thinking about the future and everything else to try and let go.”
In addition to working part-time at S&S, Dave plans to grow Dave’s Gun Shop, which he started in 2016 as a side business. That business is located at S&S Truck Repair.
Sheila, who had worked at S&S for seven years until she retired Jan. 1, said an open house is planned for sometime this summer to celebrate the business’s 40th anniversary, but no date had yet been scheduled.
Learn more by visiting S & S online.