If you’re used to the car wash offered to you at the gas pump, you’ve probably never been to Paradise Car Wash & Detail Center. The Twin Cities company has seven full-service car wash locations in the metro area, and its newest opened in February in Maple Grove.
Sitting down with the owner Jon Berhow-Rivera six weeks after the shop opened was a crash course in life at the car wash. Berhow-Rivera’s dedication to his customers and caring for cars was obvious. He jumped up several times to make sure customers were being attended to, and snatched a handful of phone calls.
There is no other full-service car wash quite like Paradise in town, so it comes as no surprise that the location is busy.
Berhow-Rivera’s job is more about making the car wash run behind the scenes than attending to day-to-day needs. But on a busy afternoon, it’s all hands on deck.
Paradise features several car wash options, which take about two and half minutes from start to finish. These washes range from a basic package that includes a wash, rinse and dry, to the supreme package that includes waxing and several car body protectants.
What Paradise offers beyond a wash is its full-service detailing. “We offer the best of both worlds because we can do the express wash in under three minutes. Or we can do the full option service for people who have more time,” Berhow-Rivera says.
Even the full service only takes about 10 minutes, he says. “Cleaner cars take less time, whereas if you have pets or kids, or just aren’t the neatest person, that takes a lot longer.”
Inside the waiting room you can watch your car, through large windows, travel each step of the way as employees inspect every inch of a vehicle. In the detailing area, they specifically focus on spot cleaning, engine cleaning and deep cleaning.
The next detailing bay focuses on buffing, waxing and applying Scotch Guard. Paradise employees are trained to use a waxing and polishing machine that applies wax and protectant in about 10 minutes.
Employees also train with different car scenarios such as car types, wash packages and detailing before they are allowed on the floor to work on vehicles.
In The Beginning
Berhow-Rivera knows all about working on cars, and not just because he is an owner. He started at a Paradise location as his first job out of college and worked his way up the ranks until he was able to buy his way into the company and run his own shop. He is a car junkie with a passion for keeping cars looking and running their best.
“When you go into your house, when you’ve worked all day, you’re going to feel down [if your house is messy],” Berhow-Rivera says. “It’s the same thing with your car. If you get into a clean car, it just makes you feel better.”
As much as everyone at Paradise is looking forward to working on Maple Grove residents’ cars, they are even more excited about getting involved with the community. Berhow-Rivera was part of the chamber of commerce when he worked at the Bloomington Paradise location, and he’ll do the same in Maple Grove.
More than that, Berhow-Rivera plans on getting involved with local charities. As a company, Paradise always looks to become part of the community, and the new location in Maple Grove is no exception.
(The Paradise team washing a vintage Chevy Bel Air.)
Jon Berhow-Rivera shares some of his favorite tips and stories from working at the car wash:
How much life do you add to a car by keeping it clean?
I am not sure if there is a specific amount of time that you gain, but I do know both of my vehicles are 2012 [models] and I bought them new. They have close to 80,000 miles [each] and they look brand new!
What’s the funniest thing you’ve had to clean out of a car?
Someone thought that it would be funny to set off a fire extinguisher in a car. I’ll tell you what…. it was not fun to clean.
The dirtiest car you’ve had to clean?
I remember this van that came in that was only two years old, but this customer never, not even once, washed or cleaned it. She had five kids and it was trashed.
What would be your dream car to have pull into the wash?
Right now, my favorite car is a Tesla. It would be cool to see one come in.
Car wash Numbers
water used to wash a single car at Paradise
percentage of Paradise wash water that’s recycled
water used to wash a single car at home
Car Care Tips from Chevy’s Best Car Club
Chevy’s Best Car Club is a Twin Cities club dedicated to classic cars. Most members own classic cars and are all about keeping the cars looking their best. Here are four tips from Clay Hagen of Chevy’s Best, on keeping classic automobiles in tip-top shape:
1. Give your car a good wash and wax. The best time to do this is in the spring, and make sure you do both the interior and exterior to cover all the nooks and crannies.
2. Keep your car away from extreme temperatures. This is easier said than done in Minnesota, but it’s best to store classic cars through the winter and keep them in the garage in the summer.
3. If your car is in storage for a long period of time, make sure to keep it covered with a good cover. Be sure to leave the windows down to allow air circulation.
4. Drive your car at least once a month. Cars are meant to be driven, and taking yours out on a regular basis will keep it in top condition and prevent corrosion.