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New Frazee business open

There's a new business revving up in Frazee.

When you swing open the door to Rich's Auto Center, you'll likely see Rich Guldseth himself, smiling from behind the counter.

The 48-year-old Fargo native isn't just a mechanic of 30 years, he's been owner and operator of several businesses throughout the past 20 of those years.

A Moorhead tech graduate of diesel mechanics, Rich opened up his first two shops 26 years ago in Fergus Falls and Wadena.

Running two shops might have been enough for most, but Rich and his wife also lived on a dairy farm in Underwood.

Up early to milk the cows, a decent sized commute, and long hours at the shops was the life this mechanic had going.

In an effort to slow things down a bit, Guldseth sold both his growing shops to do dairy full-time.

That didn't last.

Two more auto shops in Moorhead and Breckenridge and eight years later, Rich and his family moved to the Wadena area so his wife could pursue what she wanted: to start up a foster care facility for the elderly.

But after helping his wife get started and taking a break from the job he knew, Rich decided he wanted to open back up, but found buildings in Detroit Lakes to be more expensive than he wanted.

"So, on my way back home, I stopped in Frazee, talked to some people around town, and found out there was a real need for it here."

With low overhead, Guldseth says he will be able to pay his employees as much as the bigger dealerships around and charge customers less for services.

"And I think good work and honesty goes such a long way. Everybody has been taken one way or another, so if I think somebody can still make it on an old part for another 6 months or year, I am going to tell them that instead of always pushing them to switch it out."

With three bays to work in and a long history of auto experience, Rich hopes he has finally struck a good balance of work and play.

"I now realize that life is too short," he said. "I want to be able to spend time with my wife and kids and have a goal and purpose for myself and my business."

Rich's Auto Center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The phone number is 218-334-2288.