June 26, 2018
After 43 years and seven months, Mark Karels is retiring as the owner of Mark’s Service in Waverly.
He sold the business – including a car wash, gas station, and convenience store – to Mid-County Coop effective June 21. Mid-County has been serving the Waverly area for many years, and General Manager Bill Reimers said he is looking forward to the coop’s continued community involvement.
Although much of the business is staying the same, customers may notice a few small changes. The new name, for instance, will be Mid-County of Waverly. Also, since the Tesoro brand is being phased out nationwide, the gas station will be rebranded sometime this fall.
“Compliments to Mark for running a good business,” Reimers said. “We plan to continue to operate as Mark did, as a successful convenience store. We’re keeping all the employees, and just building upon Mark’s successes.”
Karels has deep roots in the Waverly area. He grew up three miles south of the city limits, and currently lives in town, right next to his former business.
“Mark Karels has been and is a leader in the community, whether on city council, as fire chief, or as owner of Mark’s,” Waverly Mayor Connie Holmes noted. “You can always count on him to participate in every city event in a big way.”
Karels and his wife, Virginia (who goes by “Giny”), recently purchased 10.3 acres south of Waverly. They’re looking into either remodeling the home that’s on the property or building a new one. Either way, Karels expects the project will keep him plenty busy for the first couple years of his retirement.
Although he’s excited about retirement, Karels said he will miss many of his customers, and he is grateful for their loyalty over the years.
“It takes customers to keep a business going,” he commented.
For Mid-County Coop, the opportunity to purchase the gas station, car wash, and convenience store in Waverly was an ideal fit. Mid-County already has a bulk fuel business in Waverly, having purchased Padden Oil Company in 2000 and Howard Lake/Waverly Oil in 2003.
“We are happy that [Karels] has sold the station to such a reputable company,” Holmes noted. “Looking forward, we know that Mid-County will be an equally valued member of the Waverly business community.”
Mid-County Coop is locally owned and operated in Cologne, a community that’s similar to Waverly in many ways. They are both rural with strong agricultural districts, and they are similar in size. The 2016 population estimate was 1,598 for Cologne, and 1,412 for Waverly.
“Waverly is growing quickly, with nearly 80 new homes built in the
last two years,” Holmes commented.
In 2019, Waverly will celebrate its 150th anniversary. The community has attracted many residents due to housing, schools, and recreational opportunities.
Mid-County of Waverly can be reached at (763) 658-4662. The business is located at 801 Pacific Ave. (just off Highway 12), and is open Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.