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Twice as Nice

November 1, 2011

In 1957, after Victor Odermat had his car washed for the first time in Quantico, Va., where he was stationed as a U.S. Marine, he opened his first Brown Bear Car Wash location in his native Seattle. A few years into the car wash business, he realized Brown Bear couldn’t tap the market potential with only one location (commercial car washing was a burgeoning service). To capitalize on demand, he would have to open additional car washes.

Since then, Odermat has taken it slow, opening approximately one location per year over a half-century. He now has 42 locations in Washington state.