Man develops lifelong passion into business

Published 1:00 am Sunday, February 26, 2017

NEW RICHLAND — To some, fixing automobiles is a lifelong passion, which can help a lot of people. One New Richland man is fueling his passion and helping the community in the process.

Isaac Kofstad is the owner of New Richland Auto Repair.

A 1996 NRHEG graduate, Kofstad began co-owning the business in 1998, and he assumed ownership when his co-owner left.

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The business specializes in anything automotive or light-truck related. Diagnostics, wheel alignments, oil changes and regular service work, such as brake and tire work, are offered, among other things.

“We try to get a little bit of everything,” he said.

New Richland Auto Repair caters to its customers, Kofstad said.

Mechanic Dylan Arnold fixes a tire leak Jan. 3 at New Richland Auto Repair. — Sam Wilmes/Albert Lea Tribune

Mechanic Dylan Arnold fixes a tire leak Jan. 3 at New Richland Auto Repair. — Sam Wilmes/Albert Lea Tribune

“It’s always fun to try to get into something a little different,” he said.

Working in the area where Kofstad grew up provides him closeness with his customers.

“I know a lot of people personally,” he said. “I kind of know some stuff about their lives and some of their kids … just people who I have known my whole life. It puts a personal touch on doing business with them.”

Kofstad’s time is spent keeping tabs in the office and in the shop, and he focuses on keeping the time his co-workers spend repairing automobiles uninterrupted.

To Kofstad, repairing automobiles has been something he has always enjoyed.

“I don’t know what else I would do,” he said. “I took a liking to wrenches and hands-on work at a very young age.”

He enjoys taking something broken and making it right again.

“Every job, it can be gratifying,” he said. “It’s the sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.”

Kofstad wants his customers to know that they are getting the business’s best work at a fair price.

“Very much everybody who walks through the door we get along with great,” he said. “We have a good relationship with our customers.”

New Richland Auto Repair is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays.

Kofstad enjoys the closeness of the community where he lives with his wife, Martha, and their three children, Will, Grace and Katheryn. The family owns a hobby farm at their residence in rural New Richland.

“Everybody just seems to care,” he said. “It seems like people like to pool together anytime somebody is going through a tough time, no matter what it is. People donate their time, donate their resources, money, whatever. It just seems like everybody cares for the other person.”

Isaac Kofstad

Age: 39

Address: rural New Richland

Livelihood: owner of New Richland Auto Repair

Family: wife, Martha; children Will, Grace and Katheryn

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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