Beloved Truck Stop Makes A “Heartbreaking” Announcement
Williams, Iowa – Boondocks USA Truck Stop, a beloved truck stop in northern Iowa is shutting down. Owners Bob Welch and his wife Miriam or “Mim” as she’s fondly called, have decided to call it a career after more than 45 years operating the truck stop, cafe and motel along I-35. They made the announcement on October 3rd in a Facebook post.
Boondocks opened June 5, 1973 and owner Bob Welch tells weareiowa.com that he “worked seven days-a-week” up until the last two years when he suffered a fall. Since then Mr. Welch says he’s cut back his work schedule. “I now take Sundays off,” he said with a smile.
Thousands and thousands of truckers and travelers have come through over the years. Mr. Welch says he will miss his “loyal customers” and the special people he has served through the more than four decades of operation. The decision to shut down was a very difficult one for the couple. “It’s a heartbreaking decision when you put your whole life into a business,” he said.
Mr. Welch said it’s become harder and harder to compete with the bigger truck stop chains both in attracting customers and hiring and retaining employees. He also made it clear “Mim” has been wanting to take some time to relax now that she’s 81 and he’s 83. Still, the couple will miss a lot about serving their regulars and meeting new people.
Perhaps what they are going to miss most is not what they’ve earned, but what they’ve been able to give. “We’ve had the good fortune of being able to help employees,” Welch proudly recalled. Over the years the couple has helped employees with schooling and tuition fees along with other important priorities.
The last day of operation is scheduled for October 20th. If you happen to be traveling by Boondocks in the next couple weeks, stop on in and shake the Welch’s hand, have a meal, get a fill up and be sure to congratulate them on a job well done.
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