“I bought the shop from my uncle and cousin. I originally was a worker for them for two-and-a-half years and then split ways to start my own shop. I used to be located out near Ken’s Lock and Key, three miles south on highway 71. I was renting that location and was there for three years, but was getting more work and needed more room,” said Josh Kruchowski.
“I was looking for a building when I ran into my cousin Dan at Subway, actually. We got to talking, I talked to his dad, we came to an agreement, and I bought it. They were going to sell, and I was offered first dibs,” Kruchowski said.
As more work began to come, Josh’s Collision was in need of more space to handle more customers.
“I knew the building and that it was newly put up in 2007. It had a lot of good features such as an air compressor, hoist, in-floor heat, 16-foot high ceilings for getting semis inside, and a few other things. But the biggest thing why I moved out of Ken’s was that I needed the room. I was growing,” Kruchowski said.
At an early age, Josh’s family and own interest sparked a desire to be in the auto body repair business.
“My Uncle Mike was the one who first got me into the business, but I realized at the beginning that it might be something I want to do as a career. I went to a two-year program at Northland Technical College in Thief River Falls, MN. Then I ended up getting a job right out of school and working two-and-a-half years at the Chrysler dealership in Thief River Falls, but the family business brought me back to Park Rapids,” Kruchowski said.
Now running his own shop, Josh’s Collision offers a wide range of services for nearly everything this side of a Lamborghini.
“I offer frame straightening, color-matching painting, glass replacement, upholstery, aluminum and steel welding, custom airbrushing, and accessories. My wife’s step-dad is a mechanic, so if I have any mechanical issues that I can’t figure out, I can send it over to him. I did the woodwork for a 1932 Oldsmobile, I’ve restored little red wagons; there isn’t much that I haven’t done,” Kruchowski said.
“If you name it, I can either fix it or find someone that can. I always found it really neat how you can take something that is completely smashed up and make it look almost brand new again. That always fascinated me.”
Realizing there are a number of auto body shops within reach from Park Rapids, Kruchowski tries to offer a great value in the services he can provide to his customers.
“I’m very particular on what I do even after I get done with a vehicle. People are always very happy to see their vehicle back to the way it looked prior to an accident. It’s very rewarding to me to see the end product once it’s all done,” Kruchowski said.
“When you do a really great job and everything looks perfect, it’s more rewarding than money in the pocket. I’ve still got bills, but it feels good. I treat a customer how I would like to be treated walking through the door so there is a lot of reward in what I do. It’s very rewarding to me to see the end product once it’s all done.”