Hands on: Canal Street Car Wash dedicated to its customers

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 19, 2006

NATCHEZ &045; Kenneth Beamer wants to make his business more than just a simple car wash. But you have to start with the basics, he said.

Beamer, 38, opened Canal Street Car Wash and Detail Shop, 605 Canal St., about two years ago and has seen business increase, especially in the past year.

&uot;Last year, I washed so many free cars,&uot; he said. &uot;I wanted to show what I could do. Now business is picking up.&uot;

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Creating a kind of spin-off from the Old Standard Service Center on Jefferson Street, owned by his brother, Charles, the two decided opening a business on the other side of town was worth a try. It was a good idea, Kenneth Beamer said.

He and his wife, Darlene, are the only full-time employees, but he puts some part-time employees to work when business is busy.

Cleaning cars is hard work, he said. &uot;It takes a lot of dedication and plenty of back ache,&uot; he said. &uot;But everyone loves a clean car and nice people. We’re down home people, and we have the cleanest restrooms in town.&uot;

Beamer uses natural materials for cleaning and does everything by hand. &uot;I believe in a hand wash and a hand wax,&uot; he said. &uot;We use materials without the harsh chemicals. We don’t use anything that dulls the finish.&uot;

The several vehicles in his driveway were testament to his attention to detail, gleaming from the wash. He paused to instruct an employee on how to clean the hub caps on a car not quite finished.

A Natchez native, he has worked at other jobs, Beamer said. And today he spends two days a week at yard maintenance jobs, including lawn and flower bed work.

Canal Street Car Wash and Detail Shop is open Wednesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. &uot;We’ll be open later when daylight savings time comes,&uot; Beamer said.

For those who want to save time, the company will pick up cars and deliver them when they are ready, he said. The number to call for service or appointments is 601-304-0601.

Beamer likes to help young people and occasionally offers the car wash to youth groups trying to raise funds for a cause. &uot;Our future is our kids, and a lot of them need help now,&uot; he said. &uot;I believe in the ‘big brother’ program and in helping the kids to be the best they can be and not get into trouble.&uot;

In addition to the washing, cleaning and detailing of vehicles, Beamer also repairs flat tires and does mechanical work on cars. &uot;I guess I’m a jack of all trades,&uot; he said.

He credits his mother, Ruby Beamer, with giving him the motivation to succeed. &uot;She raised five of us, and we all turned out to be pretty good,&uot; he said. &uot;And I believe if the good Lord gives you strength to get up and go, you have to do it.&uot;