Edgewood Auto and Tire will celebrate its re-opening less than 10 months after a fire totaled the successful business on the west end of Edgewood. Owners Toby and Tracy Schroeder will welcome visitors from 2-6 p.m. Nov. 21 at the new shop.
The 18,000-square-foot building is 4,000 feet larger than the previous business. “When we first began the business, we did just auto repair,” Tracy said. “Later, we got into heavy-duty semi repairs. The building wasn’t set up for that. The new building has higher ceilings and taller doors to accommodate the semis.”
The business is also home to Edgewood Saw and Supply.
The fire that destroyed the building occurred on Feb. 6. The Schroeders had left earlier that day for a vacation in Mexico. Tracy said they returned home the next day after they learned of the fire.
Tracy said it didn’t take the couple long to decide to rebuild. “We always felt we were going to rebuild, but then all of the community support and employee support started coming in,” she said. “We made the decision to rebuild in a week.”
The decision to rebuild means that nine full-time employees and two part-time employees have jobs. Employee Nikki Maker recalled the day of the fire. “It was like your worst nightmare,” she said. “Watching the fire was crazy. We spend so much time here it’s like a second home.”
Tracy said that other Edgewood businesses came to the aid of the couple. “Cindy and Daron Bockenstedt, Kevin and Teresa Funk and Perrinjaquet Feed Mill all offered space at their locations so we could restart our business,” she said. Tracy said the business was open within two weeks of the fire, at locations scattered around Edgewood.
In the weeks following the fire, donations kept arriving. Tracy said the couple received support from the St. Mark’s Catholic Church Gala. “We also had people bringing us lunches and dropping equipment off to us for weeks,” she said. “Individual businesses donated money to us.”
Maker watched the support from the community over the months. “It’s really been breathtaking how the community reached out,” she said. “It’s been something to see what this business means to the community.”
Tracy said it’s been nice to get everyone back under one roof. “It was a struggle at times,” she said. “We’re definitely excited to get everyone back in here. We’re going to be bigger and better.”