New owners Wade Deslauriers and Tom Archambault with previous owners Ken Pace and Bob Pace.

New Ownership for Longtime Family Business Pace’s

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A third generation West St. Paul business with more than 60 years of history, Pace’s Tire and Service Center, sold in February to new owners. But the small-town approach should continue as the new owners run another similar family-owned shop and plan to operate Pace’s the same way, including keeping the current staff.

Mayoral welcome: “Pace’s has been around for three generations, and helps us have that small town feel. When you go in there you feel it,” said Mayor Dave Napier during a recent City Council meeting where he invited the new owners to introduce themselves. “I appreciate that you want to have that same feel and you don’t want to change that.”

History: Pace’s opened in 1960 under the father/son team of Dave and Chuck Pace. Brothers Bob and Ken Pace, the most recent owners, bought the business in 2001. The business has seen three generations of ownership by the Pace family and four generations have worked there.

New Owners

Tom Archambault and Wade Deslauriers are the new owners. They run BLVD Autoworks in St. Anthony Village.

  • Small-town feel: “It’s very similar to the business we operate over in St. Anthony Village and that’s the only job I’ve ever had in my whole life,” Archambault said during the City Council meeting. “I started working there, very similar to Bob and Ken, when I was 14 years old, pumping full service gas, washing the windows, scrubbing the floors, things along those lines. It was that small town feel, right next to the big city that St. Anthony Village has that’s so similar to what West St. Paul has. So it was such a natural fit.”
  • Same name: They will keep the Pace name with a slight tweak, changing from Pace’s Tire and Service Center to Pace’s Automotive.

Customer Service

“We selected Tom and Wade because of their experience owning and managing a service station, along with their shared commitment to customer service,” read a statement Pace’s sent to customers about the new ownership.

That focus on customer service has really defined Pace’s, one of the rare places where they pump your gas and vacuum out your car after a service appointment.

“We’ve done a good job being different,” said Bob Pace, describing their “old school” customer service.

What’s Next

Bob and Ken Pace aren’t ready to retire, but they are ready for something new.

“I wanted to do something different for quite a while,” Bob said. “I wish I did it 10 years ago.”

Bob and his wife sold their West St. Paul home last year and will move to their lake house near Danbury, Wisconsin and start a new business there. Will it be an auto shop? “Absolutely not,” Bob said. “After 46 years, I’m tired of the automotive business. I’ve dreamed of doing something different with my wife.”

Ken hasn’t decided what’s next, but he’ll likely leave the auto industry as well. He and his wife plan to stay in South St. Paul.

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