Corning, Iowa (pop. 1,635) is our featured rural community this week! The thriving scene in Corning is the result of a forward-thinking community that is full of vision for their small town. We'll be sharing stories throughout the week from local leaders and business owners who are making an impact here. Today's guest blog post is from Nick Wetzel of Wolf Wash.
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YOLO. You only live once. I have lived that saying my entire life. Being born with club foot and enduring multiple surgeries, I realized at a young age God gave me one life to live — so make the most of it.
I’m Nick Wetzel, born and raised on a farm six miles south of Corning, Iowa. I’ve always been entrepreneurial at heart. I’ve raised livestock, started a DJ business, limo bus service, founded a co-ed softball tournament as a local fundraiser, spear-headed bringing country legend Colin Ray to provide a free community concert at our 150th Adams County Fair, and have even gone as far as converting a 40-foot school bus into a motorhome aka “skoolie” with a buddy of mine.
My “real” job was once for KMA radio. Now, for close to a decade, I’ve worked for New Balance Commodities (based in Adams County) which helps mid-market cattlemen throughout the Midwest.
In the Summer of 2016, shortly before the birth of our second child, I broke the news to my wife, Allie, that I wanted to build a carwash in Corning. I’m not sure if it was hormonal delirium or sleep deprivation but she was 100 percent on board from day one. We both loved the idea of how this could enhance the community and surrounding area. Corning is such a unique place that has had so many experiences for our family.
For the next year, I tried to absorb as much know-how as I could about car washes. Unfortunately, my broadcasting degree didn’t provide much background and there isn’t a book you can buy on “how to build a car wash.” Growing up, a five-gallon bucket, soap, and a garden hose was as complicated as it got. For me, this “homework” phase was incredibly energizing. I learned quickly a car wash is much more than water and soap.
We purchased the lot for the wash in Fall 2017. We broke ground in March 2018 and, ironically, opened Wolf Wash August 10, 2018, our son’s second birthday.
I travel for my “real” job and roll into so many communities of comparable size to Corning with 30-40-year-old washes that don’t get used. Allie and I have always felt cleanliness is a wonderful reflection of a thriving community—and clean cars serve as a type of furniture in that community backdrop.
Our customers tell us the cleanliness of our wash is unparalleled to others and the results they see from the wash is hands down the best experience they’ve had.
My wife and I want Wolf Wash, along with countless other local businesses, to continue to help Corning progress forward and be a community our children are proud to be a part of. We are fortunate to have so many successful businesses in Corning and Adams County. Wolf Wash is our first venture and will not be our last!
Find out more about the rural revival happening in Corning, Iowa here: