After more than six decades in business, a fixture of Burlington’s South End is about to close.
You might know Kaigle’s Citgo at the corner of Shelburne Road and Farrell Street as a typical service station that also happens to sell Christmas trees every year.
But since opening in 1956, customers have come to appreciate it as a trusted friend.
“It’s hard to find a good mechanic, one that you feel comfortable with, one that you have a rapport with and one that is as ethical and does great work like the Kaigles do,” said Kirsten Shapiro, who has been coming to Kaigle’s for car repairs for at least 15 years.
“A friend of mine said they did great work for them, and so I came, and they’ve done great work for me, and I’m really sad that they’re not going to be here any longer,” Shapiro added.
Ray Kaigle says it’s challenging to run a business from a location he doesn’t own. Last year, Kaugel’s landlord of many years changed hands and his contract for the space expires this weekend.
“I had a year-to-year, self-renewing contract which my father had until (1982), and in ’82, I took it over,” he said. “That contract is in play up until Sunday night.”
Kaigle says anyone who comes to the garage is more than simply a customer.
“They’re friends, you know,” he said. “They come in, we talk about their families, they talk about my family. We plow their driveways. They take care of us by being loyal.”
Not only will he miss them, many of them have made a point of saying that they’ll miss him.
“New customers and longtime, 50-to-60-year-old people who’ve been with us that long,” Kaigle said. “It’s just overwhelming — 30, 40 people a day for the last 90 days.”
Kaigle says that after spending time with family, he hopes to open a new garage, ideally somewhere else in Burlington.