Continuing a legacy in Marytown
By Eric Mathes
Eric Mathes photo
The dedicated staff at Marytown Garage & Sales is made up of (front) Carol and Larry Conwell and (back) Mike Kraus, Josh Ermeling and Kevin Petersen.

The Conwell family at Marytown Garage & Sales is an example of why family businesses continue to be the heartbeat of small town, rural Wisconsin.

Owner Larry Conwell partnered with his father’s garage in 1989, running the business together for over 20 years.

Larry became the sole owner of Marytown Garage after his father, the late Larry A. Conwell, passed away in 2010.

The business was first purchase in 1977 and after working in the shop through high school, Larry joined his father as an auto technician while taking classes at Moraine Park Technical College.

The family heritage is important to Larry and his wife Carol as they look ahead.

“Carrying on the legacy of the family business is important to us,” Larry said. “We continue to look forward to the future.”

Building a diverse team

When talking with any of the members of the Marytown Garage team, it’s clear that the dedicated staff is eager to solve problems and provide answers for any customer that walks through the door.

The diverse team, headed by Larry in the shop and Carol as the accountant, is comprised of what Carol calls “a good mix of experience and youthful energy.”

Alongside the Conwells is veteran technician Kevin Petersen, Josh Ermeling, and Mike Kraus.

Kevin brings 20-plus years of experience to Marytown Garage. After earning a degree through Wyoming Technical Institute in 1984, he previously worked for larger area dealerships as a Pontiac master technician with experience as a service advisor and shop manager.

Josh is a transplant from the Wausau area, earning a degree from North Central Technical College. After visiting a friend in the area, Ermeling met Larry and discovered an opportunity to join the team in the garage. He will soon celebrate his one-year anniversary with Marytown Garage.

Mike, who grew up in the rural area, earned a degree from Moraine Park Technical College. He worked as a technician for another independent shop in the area before joining the team in Marytown.

“We enjoy working as a team to help our customers,” Kevin said. “Finding ways to meet their needs and solving problems is our job.”

Mike adds that customers should not be apprehensive about asking questions. He said, “If there’s something you need, don’t be afraid to ask.”

Marytown Garage is a certified Tech-Net Auto Service Center, a preferred customer of Carquest parts for the past 14 years. Additionally, the staff is also dedicated to continuing their education by seeking available course work and seminars offered in the area.

Larry said, “We stay updated with changing trends and technology to provide the best service for our customers.”

Marytown Garage & Sales believes strongly in the small town, team atmostphere by maintaining an ongoing relationship with the community by sponsoring many civic events.

Treating customers the right way

Larry knows that a successful business does not happen overnight and said he believes that creating longevity is about building relationships with customers by being a trusted advisor.

“We work to become a valued resource for for our customers for all of their automotive needs,” Larry said. “We feel that our customers need a mechanic who has their best interest at heart. The cornerstone to our business is being a trusted resource over a long period of time.”

This philosophy is what has garnered clients over multiple generations—customers who were referred by their parents to seek service at Marytown Garage because of the trusted and reliable reputation that Larry’s father started long ago.

Marytown Garage provides service work that ranges from changing oil to engine and transmission replacement. The shop is equipped to perform computer diagnostics on vehicle engines, install custom exhaust systems, complete engine repair, brake jobs, tires, and vehicle recovery.

The garage services foreign and domestic vehicles and flatbed towing services are also available.

In 2001 Larry launched Marytown Sales to sell pre-owned vehicles. Larry buys pre-owned cars and trucks at auctions and from private individuals. These vehicles are assessed by the service crew before putting them on the sales lot to ensure the most quality product is available for customers.

As the company looks to the future, there are hopes to grow and expand the space of the office and sales floor to better serve clients.

Business hours are Mondays through Fridays from 8 a. m. to 5 p. m. A key drop-off is available for customers to leave their vehicles on the premises after hours. Marytown Garage & Sales can be reached in their office at 898-4897 or after hours at (920) 464-0269.