For 25-plus years, Kuhnsville Car Wash keeps it moving

In the background, workers at Kuhnsville Car Wash detail vehicles; in the foreground, Collin Furchner dries a car. - (Photo / Jennifer Glose)

When Martin Kuhns lost his job to layoffs in 1991, he began to work for his longtime friends –John and Carol Kuhns – at Kuhnsville Car Wash LLC in Upper Macungie Township.

When Martin Kuhns lost his job to layoffs in 1991, he began to work for his longtime friends –John and Carol Kuhns – at Kuhnsville Car Wash LLC in Upper Macungie Township.

Nearly a quarter-century later and because of the time, energy and caring the couple invested in the company and its employees, he said, 71-year-old Martin Kuhns remains at the car wash.

It is all thanks to what John and Carol Kuhns started in 1988 on West Tilghman Street in Kuhnsville – and a testament to how their son Jon has modernized the business.

It began with three employees and a garden hose – cleaning the exterior of cars – and grew it into a full-service, interior and exterior, year-round technologically advanced car wash, employing and mentoring up to 150 people at a time.

“I thought this business would grow, so I stayed here,” said Martin Kuhns, now a part-time facility manager and who is not related to the owners. “They’ve taken good care of me.”

Through the years, John and Carol Kuhns, both 73, and their four children continued to work at the car wash. The couple retired in 2006 when their son, Jon Kuhns, took over the business.

“We work with our employees a lot,” Carol Kuhns said. “We would always have employee meetings, and I would tell the employees, ‘The most important thing is the customer. Without the customer, you don’t have a job.’ ”

Twenty-seven years ago, John Kuhns was living in Kuhnsville – which is named after his ancestors – as the owner of a small contracting business. Carol was a real estate agent.

In need of a career change, the two bought a one-acre West Tilghman Street plot from John Kuhns’ parents, across the street from the younger couple’s home.

Recognizing that the community needed a car wash, the pair designed, built and opened Kuhnsville Car Wash LLC – operating it strictly as an exterior wash business. In addition to the full-service wash area, they built a five-bay self-service car wash.

Jennifer Glose
Reporter Jennifer Glose covers health care, Berks County and other topics. She can be reached at jenniferg@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 111.

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