Fifth Bush Car Wash to anchor Edison Street development
By Jeff Morrow
Tim Bush decided he’d had enough of selling cars.
Then he decided he wanted to clean them.
[blockquote quote=”Our impact is to do good.” source=”Tim Bush, owner of Bush Car Wash” align=”right” max_width=”300px”]
He’s built four Bush Car Wash stores throughout the Tri-Cities, with a fifth being built on Edison Street near Kamiakin High School in Kennewick.
Bush felt this new location was a no-brainer.
“Edison is kind of the center of Kennewick,” he said. “Edison Street has taken some of the heat off of Clearwater Avenue (with traffic).”
Joining the newest Bush Car Wash are a couple more businesses.
“Mike Scott is building a Bruchi’s next door, and we’re also building a Roasters Coffee that Wes Heyden will lease,” Bush said.
The project is being built by MH Construction of Kennewick.
He expects everything to be complete by the end of the year.
Most people think of car dealerships when they hear the name Tim Bush.
But in the last few years, he and his wife Kathy got into marriage ministry.
“Our life was radically changed,” he said. “I began to see I couldn’t have that (car-dealership) lifestyle.”
It involved long hours on the lot, not seeing much of his family.
“So I sold my last car on April 6, 2015,” he said.
Meanwhile, he had already begun his foray into the car wash business, which today employs 60 people.
“Car washes are amazing things,” Bush said. “Ours was developed by the model of a giving entity. It’s not about what we make, although you need to make money to keep the business going. But our impact is to do good.”
The Bush Car Wash company gives to charities such as the Tri-Cities Pregnancy Network and sets up college funds for those in need.
Bush got the idea of starting a car wash from his late brother, Ned Gosnell.
“He had told me that we didn’t have a good car wash in the Tri-Cities,” Bush said.
Gosnell wanted to see one like they had in Vancouver, Wash., when they were growing up.
“The next morning we drove to Vancouver,” Bush said. “We wanted to take a look.”
But before anything could happen, Gosnell was diagnosed with a stage 4 brain tumor. That was in 2007.
He died two years later, and Bush put off the idea of a car wash — until four years ago.
The first one was built on Aaron Drive in Richland. There is a plaque there, honoring his brother for his vision.
Other car wash locations include Columbia Drive in Kennewick, Court Street in Pasco, and near Road 68 in Pasco.
Bush said whether it’s selling cars or washing cars, it’s all the same.
“It’s all customer service. We don’t have bikinis, no short skirts,” he said. “I wanted it to really be a good environment where you could have your kids and grandkids work and be proud.”
His son Blake does all of the training, while son TJ is responsible for keeping the facilities looking good.
The family researched the industry, bought good equipment and uses high-quality fiber rags.
If there is a problem, they even have a claims process if a vehicle is damaged.
It’s all about customer service, he said.
But even though the Bush family is up to five car wash facilities, it hasn’t been easy.
“It takes a long time to grow the business,” Bush said. “You don’t make money in a car wash the first year. It takes quite a while. It’s a really slow progress. The bottom line is you’ve got to have courage or no brains. And trust in the Lord.”