Edmonds Kwick ’n Kleen manager retiring after 39 years behind the counter

By Ian Davis-Leonard | Jun 28, 2018
Courtesy of: Ashleigh Castro No more suds: Bill Castro is retiring from Kwick ’n Kleen in Edmonds.

After nearly 40 years in the car-wash business, Bill Castro, manager of Kwick ’n Kleen car wash on Edmonds Way, is wringing out his last squeegee and tossing his last bucket of water.

Castro has been a mainstay at Kwick ’n Kleen, at the 76 gas station, since the Bush 41 presidency, serving as the friendly face greeting you every time your car needed a shine.

“He’s a fixture here; it’s like Bill is part of the gas station,” Kwick ’n Kleen owner Michael Roberts said.

On Wednesday, June 27, 39 years after first taking the job, Castro completed his final shift as manager of the car wash.

The 64-year-old Castro, who used to appear on television screens across the Puget Sound during Kwick ’n Kleen commercials, is moving on to bigger and better things.

“At this point in my life, I’ve got other things I want to do,” Castro said. “It’s going to be good to spend a little bit more time with people before we check out.”

Between helping his daughter with her new house, spending time with family members, playing games of golf that aren't going to play themselves, and relaxing in a destination cabin on Birch Bay that awaits him, Castro plans to stay busy in retirement.

While Roberts is happy for his longtime manager, he also laments his exit.

“With Bill, I knew that the business and the customers will always be taken care of, and that’s a nice feeling,” he said.

In Castro, Roberts said he had a diligent manager who stuck to his word and was as honest as the day is long.

“When you own a business, you worry constantly about what is happening when you’re not there, and for 40 years I haven't had to do that.”

During Castro’s tenure at Kwick ’n Kleen, he managed more than 400 employees, many who still come back to thank Castro for his tutelage.

“I’m 47, so I grew up with Bill; he’s like the uncle who knows everything,” Roberts said. “I will miss learning from him.”

For his part, Castro will miss the people that walked into the store each day.

“Honestly, the relationships with customers has been incredible,” he said. “Meeting people and talking with people, and the regular customers that have come in probably since I have been here.”

Castro’s final goodbye at Kwick ’n Kleen didn’t involved suds or the gas pump. It was to mingle with the strong base of regular customers who have made 39 years on the job special.

“Thank you,” he said, “for all the people who come in and make your day.”








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