49 years ago what was to become a Homestead institution was opened. Captain Car Wash on Flagler Ave in Homestead opened in 1972 and has washed nearly a million cars/trucks/rv’s/boats/atv’s and just about every type of vehicle since.
Last week it came to a final rinse.
Monty Falls the founder, in fact he is the ‘Captain’, walked away from his business that became more than a car wash.
For many of his customers, it was the top-quality service for certain that kept them coming back, but it was something more.
You could pull into Monty’s and make a new friend.
While you waited for your vehicle, you always had something to snack on at the tables for customers.
Local fruits, vegetables, candy or maybe some nuts were always available to enjoy.
If you knew him well, you might even get a sip of something special.
The customers ranged from local business men and women, politicians, farmers and growers, military personnel current and retired….heck we’re pretty sure everybody in the area has been there at one time or another.
It has become a matter of habit for many. We often made a stop on just about every Saturday.
Sheila Bates, his right hand for the last 31 years, was always ready to greet you and ask.... “what are you getting today.”
You could always choose the level of service and the flavor of fragrance you wanted as was their trademark final touch for your service that day.
Sheila Bates said, “Homestead kept us in business. It was this town. The coolest part of working there was the friends. We cried together, we laughed together, our customers became family.”
Bates, as Monty always called Sheila, said this about her many years with Falls, “We fought and argued like we were family…like he was my family. We bought everything from Home Hardware and Mitchell’s He taught me that buying local was what we had to do. That supporting the local small businesses was very important. Monty taught me that. I respect the man to the upmost. I was very fortunate to have a boss like him.”
Falls is a perfectionist …. and the business thrived because of that. His customers knew they were going to get quality work. Whether he was wet sanding your boat or using a magic trick to take a scratch off your ‘baby’, even if he had to spend eight hours on your car with a buffer, you got the best they could offer. Always.
“Captain Car Wash would like to thank the people of Homestead for their patronage over the years. It’s been a family building experience and I’d simply like to thank each and every one of you,” Falls said.
Falls has the business and property for sale.
If you’re interested, call him at 305-345-4335.