Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

A Requiem for Willkomm’s Mobil

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Folks, one of my favorite places to go in Racine has closed as of June 30, 2022. That place was Willkomm’s Mobil station, which had a drive-thru, a pet wash, and a car wash. The drive-thru was extremely convenient, and I often got lottery tickets and small amounts of food, milk, or other items.

Now, why did this wonderful place close?

Partly, the expansion of Kwik-Trip’s gas stations in the Racine area is to blame. Kwik-Trip serves food, and though it doesn’t have a drive-thru or a pet wash, it has a car wash. Kwik-Trip stations, besides the food, are much comparable to any other gas station.

But partly, I fear, is because the owner of Willkomm’s Mobil felt he could do better with a Rocket Wash (where you get your car washed in two minutes or less via various automated processes).

We already have another Rocket Wash in Racine, and it’s also operated by the same owner. (We used to have another Willkomm’s Mobil station in that place, but he closed that and kept the Rocket Wash instead.) I don’t know if this area can sustain two Rocket Wash stores.

Anyway, I wrote to the owner about six weeks before the station closed. I told him that the clerks were very friendly, that I enjoyed going to Willkomm’s Mobil, that it was among my favorite places, and that I truly hoped he would not close the store.

While the automated form says the owner will respond to all comments, he didn’t respond to mine. (I wonder why. /sarcasm intended)

My feeling was that if Willkomm’s Mobil’s owner was willing to actually promote the drive-thru aspect, as it was the only drive-thru of its type in all of SE Wisconsin to the best of my knowledge (and assuredly the only one in Racine County), he would not have needed to close the store.

And if he’d been willing to do some minimal things like adding hot dogs or microwaved meals that were hot and fresh for people who walked into the store to get as an impulse buy, he also would not have needed to close the store.

Anyway, I drive by my favorite place, now shuttered forever. It angers me. It was one of the few places that helped me, as I could save my energy, talk with friendly people through the drive-thru, and get gas without having to worry about anything. If I was having a poor day with regards to energy, I didn’t have to get out of the car, and that in and of itself was a major blessing.

I hope everyone who worked at Willkomm’s Mobil station has found a better job. (Some were going to stay with the company in other capacities. Some weren’t.)

I wish I could write references for every single one of them, as I felt they all were kind-hearted as well as being good cashiers and overall knowledgeable people.

Thus, this post.

I wish I could write a requiem for Willkomm’s Mobil in music. As of yet, I can’t.

This blog will have to stand, at least for the moment, as the incomplete requiem for one of my favorite places, ever, to exist in Racine County.

Written by Barb Caffrey

July 7, 2022 at 2:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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