Gosda’s Car Wash has served the Grand Island area for a half-century. That’s worth celebrating.
“We are on our third generation of the Gosda family owning the car washes, it feels great keeping the family business up and running after so many years,” Rick Gosda said.
He and his wife, Heather, are the current owners of Gosda’s Car Wash, which has two locations at 2205 W. Second and 905 S. Locust.
The Gosda story began in 1968 when Victor and Leola Gosda bought the Second Street location from a previous owner. In 1971 they built the South Locust location. It opened in 1972.
According to Gosda, when the South Locust location opened, many Grand Island residents were unaware of the business and thought it was a storage facility. He said his grandparents put up signs and also offered free car washes for a month to get the business up and going.
Gosda’s son, Al, served in the U.S. Navy for six years. After his service, he started working for his parents at the car wash.
According to Rick Gosda, his father worked by himself at the family’s Second Street location until 1985. In 1989 he began working at the South Locust location.
Gosda’s mother, Cindy, worked at Ace Hardware for 17 years before joining the family business in 1991.
Al and Cindy had two sons, Rick and Ted. The two boys grew up working at the family business and learning the trade.
During that time, Gosda’s parents built, owned and operated A-C Laundry, which opened in 1998. His father ran the two car washes. His mother ran the laundromat.
Gosda’s parents leased the business from his grandparents for 21 years. In 1999 Al and Cindy Gosda purchased the company.
Gosda met his wife, Heather, while attending Wayne State College. They married in Omaha in 2006. He managed a large retail company and his wife taught in the Omaha Public School system.
Growing up and working in the family business created aspirations for him to become a business owner himself.
In 2008 that dream became a reality when they moved to Grand Island and bought the business from his parents, who were retiring.
While Gosda ran the family business, his wife began teaching for the Grand Island Public Schools. She now teaches at Northwest. They have two daughters, Maddie and Molly.
Throughout their ownership, Gosda said they made many improvements and upgrades, which included a new logo and signs and the addition of vending machines and products. They also have created Twitter and Facebook pages, and a website where customers can buy tokens.
The company can now accept credit cards, too.
Over the 50 years, Gosda said technology had changed the way they conduct business.
“That’s anywhere from using RFID (radio-frequency identification technology) with our monthly automatic memberships, touch screens on our kiosks, up-to-date coin boxes, or our new website and social media pages,” Gosda said. “We try and stay up to date on newer ways to get your car clean.”
He said he and his wife love being small business owners.
“From growing up and working at the car washes to now being an owner, the one thing stays the same that is our great loyal customers,” Gosda said. “They have kept us in business for 50 years and have voted us best car wash in Grand Island for many years.”
He said the mission of Gosda’s Car Wash is to provide top-quality washing service for car owners within the community. “We work to keep customers satisfied to maintain impeccable customer service,” Gosda said.
To learn more about Gosda’s Car Wash, visit its social media sites on Twitter and Facebook or web page at www.gosdacarwash.com.