After 52 Years in Business, Cloquet’s Pete & Sons, Inc. Set to Close
The Final Day of Business for Pete & Sons, Inc. will be Dec. 31, 2020
CLOQUET, Minn. – Do you remember the last time you went to gas up your vehicle and an employee at the station did it for you?
For one family in Cloquet, they never bat an eye at going above and beyond when it came to serving those who stopped by their business.
After more than 50 years in business, the Fink family is calling it quits.
“I kind of have a lot of emotions tugging at me. I’m excited, scared, and a little sad,” said John Fink, vice president of Pete & Sons, Inc.
Fink knows a thing or two about an oil change, but when it comes to life’s winding road, he’s a little more uncertain.
His father started the business in 1968. For 52 years, Pete & Sons has been a staple in the community of Cloquet.
“I’m kind of nervous about the next step in my life. I’m going to try and find a job somewhere and see how that goes,” said Fink.
On December 31st, the pumps at this full-service station will pause, and the doors will officially close.
“I said many years ago when he goes, I’m going to go too,” said Fink.
John and his older brother Jerry currently keep the operation going. But the family-run fun and games will soon come to an end.
“Jerry’s getting to the age now where he wants to retire. He’ll be 63 in April,” said Fink.
John and Jerry’s parents, Pete and Lydia Fink first started the business more than five decades ago – dedicating their lives to helping their friends, neighbors, and those just passing by.
“I have second and third generations of some families that still come here,” said Fink.
John is thankful to have spent the past 37 years working alongside colleagues he cares for so much.
“It’s been great. It’s someone you can trust, they’ve got your back all the time,” said Fink. “People are happy for us but on the same side they’re upset and like, ‘What am I going to do now, where am I going to go now’?”
What started as help here and there during summer vacation, eventually turned into a lifelong career with many connections created along the way.
Longtime customers like Eira Bridges are sad to see this full-service station come to a stop.
“I really like the service; I like it when they pump and I don’t have to get out of the car,” said Bridges. “I think it’ll be a loss to the community.”
She started coming here years ago after hearing about it through word of mouth.
“My aunt’s the one that started me on this because she never pumped gas. She started driving when she was in her 60s and so this was just great for her,” said Bridges.
Exceptional customer service creating satisfaction from customers throughout many generations.
“Even if you don’t gas up they’ll check your tires,” Bridges commented.
It’s the attention to detail that’ll be missed by many in the community.
“Thanks for the service, thanks for the memories,” said Bridges.
Pete & Sons, Inc. is currently up for sale.