For the first time in 40 years, Mike and Pam Schaefer are taking it easy. They sold Gateway Tire and Service to Dave and Marianne Pierson of Carlton July 1.
“I’ve been self-employed for 40 years,” said Mike in a recent interview. “I had a gas station in Rush City and ran it for two years before coming to Moose Lake.”
Owning gas stations were a family tradition.
“My oldest brother and dad had a gas station,” said Mike. “This will be the first time since 1959 that someone in the family didn’t have a shop along the freeway. All three of us were in business at one time.”
The Schaefers bought Gateway Standard in September 1975. The station was changed to Amoco in 1986, and to BP around 2000.
Over the years, Mike and Pam’s two sons and their daughter worked at the station. While Mike ran the station, Pam was the bookkeeper and check writer.
In 1980, the Schaefers built on to the station and added bait for fishing, and in 2003, the tire shop was added. Gateway Tire and Service was a separate business, and son Jeff ran the station while Mike ran the tire shop.
In 2008, the station was sold to Nygren Enterprises.
Mike and Pam continued to operate Gateway Tire and Service until the business was sold.
Mike said that they have no plans at the present time for another occupation, other than to spend time with family, especially their grandchildren.
A phone call was all it took for Dave and Marianne Pierson to finally realize a dream of purchasing a business in Moose Lake. Dave said that he had considered other businesses in Moose Lake over the years but none were the right fit.
“This place is the perfect spot,” he said. “It’s always been clean, attractive, and it always looked busy. I was interested right away when Mike called.”
The Piersons own two other tire shops, Junction Tire in Carlton behind the Junction Oasis restaurant and station, and Junction Tire in Cloquet.
The Piersons incorporated the business in 1997, and built a big new shop in Carlton. They expanded when they bought the business in Cloquet.
“Buying Gateway Tire was a good fit right away,” said Dave. “Mike and Pam are easy to get along with.”
The Piersons will keep the same staff at Gateway Tire: Dave Pemberton, Bruce Kovanen and Clint Leppanen. Chris Alberg, who worked at the Carlton shop, was moved to Moose Lake to manage Gateway Tire.
“We have about 70 years of experience in our staff, if their years are added up,” said Dave.
Although not much will change, customers will have more of a choice of tires.
“There will be more tire selection with a larger inventory, and more tire brands available,” Dave said. “People can get service in any of our shops; they don’t have to go back to the one of our shops where they bought the tires. Customers can get their tires rotated for free. We also have towing and road service if there are problems with the tires on the road.”
The Piersons are looking forward to serving the customers in the Moose Lake area.
“We are looking forward to continuing the great service that the Schaefers have provided in Moose Lake for 38 years,” said Dave. “We welcome new customers as well as current customers.”
For more information or to make an appointment, call Gateway Tire and Service at (218) 485-8600. The tire shop is open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.