Service center named Cascade business of year

Kerp’s Service Center

LOCATION: 108 Thomas St. SE, Cascade, Iowa

HOURS: Monday to Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday: 7:30 a.m. to noon; Sunday: closed. 

PHONE: 563-852-7381


CASCADE, Iowa — Kerp’s Service Center recently was named the Cascade Chamber of Commerce 2022 Business of the Year.

The annual honor is awarded to a business based on its community involvement, employee growth and retention, business enhancement and longevity.

Kerp’s Service Center has been family-owned and -operated since 1990. It offers the latest in tires, parts and diagnostics, and all auto and truck services, specializing in agriculture, semi and commercial tires.

It is run by the husband-and-wife team of Rick and Deb Kerper, who founded the station to fill a need in Cascade utilizing Rick’s skills in auto repair and Deb’s skills in accounting and bookkeeping. Starting the business from scratch in both equipment and clientele, they established themselves deeply in the community for more than 32 years.

One contribution that the chamber highlighted of Kerp’s was being a large supporter of many projects and organizations in the community, including schools and the day care. The chamber specifically recognized Kerp’s activity in the classic car community and organizing numerous car shows that have raised money and awareness for various organizations.

“My favorite story about our winner is how they came to our very first Hometown Days meeting,” said chamber Board Member Shontele Orr. “A group of community members were coming together to create this new, big signature event, and they sat through the meeting listening to all of us trying to decide how we would handle this event. Would we sell bracelets for the bouncy houses or not? Lots of big decisions had to be made.

“(The Kerpers) spoke up at the very end and recommended we not charge for anything, that we make this event free for all and find business sponsors to help offset these costs. They then committed to being our first-ever platinum sponsor and have been sponsoring the event ever since.”

The Kerpers said they were surprised by the award, as they never considered their community work to be anything worthy of special recognition.

“It just wasn’t something we expected,” said Deb. “That’s something that’s always been important to us, to get a community thing like that together. We tried a couple different car shows and things, but it just never really got everyone together. We were very happy to support this.

“We do a lot of car cruises for benefits, but from our standpoint, all we’re doing is giving back to the community that has taken care of us and allowed us to be here for 32 years. We never thought we were doing anything special.”

Rick added, “It’s a big deal being in the chamber. We’ve been in the chamber for over 30 years, and it’s a big award for us.”

Candidates for the award were submitted by the public and voted on by the chamber board. Other nominated businesses were Accura Healthcare, Centro, Cheryl’s Flour Garden, Eloise Raye, McAllister Electrical Services, McDermott Oil, Molly Knuth Media, Rolling Hills Vet Clinic and The Corner Taproom.