The new owner of Granite Falls’ Highway 212 business, Rand’s Detail Auto Works, has a way of focusing on the positive and making the most out of even the toughest of life’s situations.
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The circumstances which have brought Allan Rand and his family to Granite Falls haven’t always been ideal ones. But the new owner of Granite Falls’ Highway 212 business, Rand’s Detail Auto Works, has a way of focusing on the positive and making the most out of even the toughest of life’s situations. And so with a bit of luck, and good dose of local area support, he is hopeful that the law of averages see the success of his detail shop come a little easier.
A Renville native with area connections, Rand has made his home and living in the likes of Minnesota city suburbs Maple Lake and Andover as well as in Wisconsin and North Dakota.
A graduate of Renville High School, he attended Willmar Technical School where he received his degree in auto body. After a brief stint in Africa, where he performed in a Christian band, “Carpenter’s Tools,” he has worked, and owned businesses, in the automotive field since 1985.
His decision return to southwest Minnesota was a rather spur of the moment, precipitated by the death of his mother, Mardell Rand. Mardell and Duane Rand moved back to the Granite Falls area in 2000. In October of 2004, tragedy struck the family when Duane was killed in a farming accident east of Granite Falls.
Allan and his wife, Tasha, had been living in Wisconsin, where Allan was able to make frequent trips to the area to care for his mother who had battled health issues in recent years. She had just successfully completed dialysis treatments in July of this past year when she suffered a stroke that claimed her life, just as it appeared she was going to get it back.
“Every time I was faced with something negative I always figured out a way to get through it,” Rand said. “It doesn’t really pay to dwell on the negative side of things. A lot of the things you, of course, create for yourself, but regardless you just have move forward with what you have.”
Back in the area to handle his parents his estate auction, Rand and his wife recently decided that they would purchase his parents’ house and reestablish a foundation in Granite Falls.
Between the pair, they have six children that range in age from 21 to four. And the short jaunt from his new business to his home, is ideal for juggling the responsibilities of family and work, and also allows him to respond in a second’s notice to any needs of Tasha who has also been subjected to illness, battling cancer over the past year.
“That poor girl’s been through a lot,” Rand said of his wife. “She’s a strong-willed person and a fighter.”
Despite it all, Rand carries on with a smile––as he must––and seeks to the embrace slower, more peaceful, community-based lifestyle offered by the southwestern Minnesota cities.
“All in all I enjoy it,” he says of the area. “I know a few people around here, and people are friendly. In small towns everybody knows your business, and so for the detail shop, that’s probably a good thing.”
Amongst a number of automotive services provided in the area, Rand said he hoped to fill a niche that wasn’t being offered with detailing. He said he also plans to purchase cars in need of a tune up for resale, as well as provide minor mechanical, painting, air brushing, customizing and related services.
A basic detail involves the washing of a sedan or truck, the wipe down and vacuuming of the interior. and a coat of wax. A basic-plus option includes the aforementioned, as well as spot removal on the interior. If one is so inclined, they can also opt for the works, which entails a full interior shampooing.
Other services include the detailing of the engine compartment, buffing and/or the wet sanding of scratches as well as headlight rejuvenation––which gets the yellow tint, that typically develops overtime, out. He also hopes to get back into airbrush design. But the long and short of it, is that he makes worn automobiles look new.
On the mechanical side, run by employee, Mike Bowman, he says that auto shop can replace struts, rotors brakes, tie rod ends––or basically whatever his computer’s sensor picks up. “For the most part it’s simpler stuff,” he said, “...nothing like swapping out rear ends or axels or anything like that.”
At present Rand is renting the former Highway 212 gas station, which had been shuttered prior to his arrival for several years. If the business goes well, he says he intends to purchase the space––and in the meantime he’s looking forward to making exterior improvements, including the purchase of new signage.
“My goal is to get this up and going and have a business here in Granite Falls.” he said.