Inside INdiana Business

Car wash brings work to those with special needs

(photo courtesy of Luci's Carwash and Drive-Thru Convenience Store)

CONVERSE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – A husband and wife team in the Grant County town of Converse have opened a unique business inspired by their special needs daughter. Ryan and Beth Frank wanted to have a safe place in which their teenage daughter Luci, who has autism, and other people with special needs could work. So they acquired an old car wash and renovated it into what is now known as Luci’s Carwash and Drive-Thru Convenience Store. 

In an interview with Business of Health Reporter Kylie Veleta, Beth Frank explained the message they want to promote with Luci’s Carwash.

“Since Luci’s was born, we have believed that she was fearfully and wonderfully made and that she was made for a purpose. And so since she has gotten older, we have thought about what that purpose could be in areas that she would be interested in, areas that she would feel a connection with the community and when the car wash idea came up, we thought this is great,” said Frank. “Also for the students she’s in school with, for other adults in our community that have special needs, we really want to provide a place for them where they feel a connection with the community, where their differences are celebrated and a place where they can shine.”

Ryan Frank said the drive-thru convenience store is a key component of the business. The store is filled with racks of snacks and candy, as well as coolers with drinks. But he says there is more to the store.

“We have a small kitchen where we’re serving some hot food in the morning like biscuits and gravy, throughout the day things like nachos and pretzel bites and breadsticks, fountain drinks and gourmet soda. So it’s been a really fun experience.”

The couple says the community has been tremendously supportive of the business.

“Facebook has been so good for us,” said Ryan Frank. “We really haven’t spent a dollar on marketing but the small town community, school system, the people have just gotten behind it.”

Beth Frank says there has been a learning curve opening a brick-and-mortar business, but interacting with the community on a daily basis makes everything easier.