What's in your wash?
October 11, 2010
After being in the IT business for the past fifteen years, Kevin and Shirley Ann Leung decided they wanted a change. They opened Magic Rabbit Carwash, their first carwash, two years ago, and have been making big bunny hops in the carwash industry ever since.
In 2007, the Leungs were twice awarded: receiving the Retail Firm of the Year by the Rocky Mountain Minority Supplier Development in September, and the Rookie of the Year Award from the Western Carwash Association in October.
The Leungs were chosen for both awards due to their carwash’s excellent reputation for customer service, products, and their active involvement in the local community.
Education at the carwash
Magic Rabbit Carwash has two locations in Colorado, one in Highlands Ranch and the other in Parker, approximately 12 miles away. The first location was purchased in September 2005, and the second in July 2006. Both Magic Rabbit locations were already up and running when purchased, but they were not making profit.
So the Leungs decided to apply their educational backgrounds — they both have master degrees in computer science — to improve the carwashes. According to the Leungs, their degrees give them a different mindset than other carwash owners. They tend to think in “more logical, objective, and analytical” ways than other owners, according to Shirley Ann Leung.
Education is extremely important to the Leungs and they even hope to offer their customers ways to expand their minds, as well. Instead of selling coffee and cookies or car supplies in their gift shop, the Leungs have packed it with quick study books, aimed to assist the reader excel in specific subjects. ”Education is most important,” said Shirley Ann Leung.
The gift shop doesn’t only sell quick study books, although the Leungs say the books are their number one seller. The gift shop also includes greeting cards and Mexican products, such as Mexican-brand soda and Mexican-brand snacks and cookies.
Community and the future
The Leungs help in their community by allowing groups to fundraise at their carwash. Every year, the local high school’s senior class volunteers at the carwash for a few hours. At the end of the day, they get a percentage of that day’s profits. They also give carwash packages to an annual silent auction as a way to raise money for charity.
According to the Leungs, the most challenging part of the carwash business is adjusting to the industry and finding employees. The most rewarding part of their endeavor, said the Leungs, is “setting an example that other immigrants can make it, too.”
In the future, the Leungs hope to develop a way to create a larger chain of carwashes. “All other industries have chains, but the carwash industry’s biggest still could be expanded, and we want to find a way to expand that,” said Kevin Leung.