“Wouldn’t trust my family’s vehicles to anyone else,” says a customer of 27 years with Youngstedts, according to a Google review—one out of hundreds that are left by returning and new customers who trust Youngstedts with their vehicles. The family is celebrating 50 years of being in business.
Going back to 1967 when Larry Youngstedt worked for Standard Oil as a sales representative, he was presented with an opportunity to purchase a Bloomington Standard Oil in 1970 with a partner and began running his own station. In 1971, Larry sold his share in the Bloomington station and bought a Hopkins station to be closer to his Minnetonka home and later opened his first tire and auto repair center in Hopkins in 1975. Almost two decades later, Larry’s son, Steve Youngstedt, took over as CEO in 1991 and is now celebrating 50 years of being in business with 14 locations (including Excelsior, Minnetonka and Wayzata) in the western Metro of the Twin Cities and two locations in Eau Claire, Wisc.
“I’m proud of my dad, who started this company in 1971. That has afforded so many opportunities for my family and our employees over the past 50 years,” Steve says. With a family of his own (sons Ian and Alex and daughter, Emma), there’s opportunity for a third generation of Youngstedts to take its turn behind the company’s steering wheel. As the business continues to grow, Steve says he looks forward to watching his kids develop and carry on their core value of taking care of the families that support the business.
Jenny Mattiacci, who does marketing for all Youngstedts locations, says Youngstedts’ employees are valued by the business and the family. “In those 50 years, we have employees who are celebrating 20 to 30 years with the company,” she says. She says Larry, who is now in his 80s, makes a point to come in and personally sign and deliver employee paychecks. Steve says he remembers his dad always saying, “Happy employees make happy customers.”
One of those employees, Brian Try, has been with the company for 20 years. He started out changing oil and tires. During his tenure, he learned more about the trade and moved his way up to general manager for Youngstedts. “It’s like working for your family,” he says. Try says the company’s leadership values hard work and knows how to treat its employees. “They have allowed me to grow to this level,” he says, “I have so much appreciation for that.”
To mark the golden anniversary, Mattiacci says there will be celebratory activities at each location. For complete information, visit youngstedts.com.