Scott and Shannon Palmlund, owners of Palmlund Automotive in De Smet, recently passed a 10-year milestone in their local automotive repair shop.
The business began in 2008 with a rented space on Highway 25 near the railroad tracks. The original plan was to provide light mechanical work and oil changes to customers. But well-laid plans quickly changed when they were asked to replace an engine during their first week of operation.
Scott said that they quickly gained the confidence to take on most mechanical vehicle repairs, also adding tire sales and service to their repertoire.
In 2012, the Palmlunds had the opportunity to purchase a building of their own. After five months of renovation, they moved the shop to its current location on the corner of Highway 25 and Second Street.
The collaboration of the couple, who have known each other since kindergarten, began years before opening the shop.
Born and raised in De Smet, Scott and Shannon dated in high school and were married in 2004.
“Growing up, cars were definitely a hot topic in our house,” Scott said. He remembers doing quite a bit of “tinkering” around as a kid, with his dad, Les, who was always available to lend a hand or give advice when Scott was stumped.
He graduated from Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown with a degree in automotive technology and helped his parents at their lumberyard in De Smet.
“I think working for my parents and watching them run their business helped me to understand the challenges associated with and dedication needed to start and operate Palmlund Automotive,” Scott said.
Previously a full-time partner at the shop, Shannon recently returned to her love of teaching and is on staff at the Iroquois School.
She said that although the change has been a big adjustment for their family, she is glad that she went back to education.
“I continue to take care of the shop accounting and books and whatever else I can do to help Scott keep his sanity,” Shannon said. She added that she loves working with Scott and will be at the shop full time every summer.
Almost five years ago, the couple added what they call a “pickup on a pole” to keep their shop unique.
Scott prepped and balanced the truck in his shop and had it hoisted onto the pole late one evening so that it would be a surprise to travelers and passers-by the next day.
Despite the strong South Dakota winds, the pickup has stayed in place and has become a popular backdrop for visitors taking their pictures. It also serves as a “points stop” on the free-to-play, location-based reality game Pokemon Go, which can be downloaded on most Apple and Android devices.
Scott said that with advancements in technology, automobiles are constantly evolving, making vehicle repair and finding qualified help a challenge. He hopes to add a new employee to the team in the near future.
“As a small business, we always try to go above and beyond for our customers,” Scott said. The two agreed that they have worked with great people in the last 10 years, and have made many friends along the way.
Posted on 02-07-2018
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