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"What's up, Doc?"


Fri, Jan 27th, 2012
Posted in Progress Edition

While the current business climate may leave some thinking small towns can't support local business, there's at least one Whalan business proving them all wrong. Dale 'Doc' Peterson, of Doc's Auto Body and Repair humbly claims to be just a "Little guy," but this business in the heart of Whalan is thriving with support from both its own community and those within the county.

"We're a one-stop, full-service auto body and mechanical repair shop," notes Doc. "We've got an experienced staff, including a full-time mechanic and a full-time auto body technician. I think we thrive fairly well in a small community."

The community of Whalan has indeed been good to Doc's, as has towns such as Lanesboro, Whalan, Rushford, Preston, Harmony, and Chatfield who's citizen seek out both the quality services and the commitment to people. "It's not just a business," as Doc points out. "We've got quite a social network, with people poppin' in to chat or for coffee, too."

Peterson, who formerly worked in corrections in Olmsted County, knows that's just a part of what's making his business thrive. "A friend used to walk in to chat and ask me, 'What's up, Doc?' It's just stuck, I guess."

Purchasing the business nine years ago, Peterson saw that the steel facility, which was literally half the size, was clearly not cut out for future growth and would need some improvements and upgrades to grow the business. A sizable addition to the facility in those early years expanded the business to include full-service automotive work, making room for a hoist and paint booth. With no service to small or large, Doc's offers routine oil changes and mechanical checks to body damage and glass repair and everything in between.

"We're in the heart of deer country," chuckles Doc. "That and working hard at customer service has kept us going."

Living in Rochester, but with local family ties in the county, Peterson knows he's got a good thing here. "We had an unbelievable opportunity back into a community," he enthuses, "Even if it took a long time until people noticed we were here."

When asked about further growth, Doc points to the local struggles for small business. "It's been hard at times just to maintain it and that limits how much we can offer. But we work hard. We'd love for our name to get out there more."

While the deer may not be jumping much lately, it sounds like you can stop into Doc's anytime.

Doc's Auto Body and Repair is located one block south of the Pie Shoppe in downtown Whalan. To schedule an appointment, call 507-467-3598, or stop in for a consultation.

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