Jerry and Marjorie Kottschade opened Jerry’s Body Shop on Oct. 15, 1971 on Rock Street in Mankato, Minn. They purchased a bankrupt Ben’s Bee-line and started on their journey. Marge passed away in 1983. In 1987, Jerry and Geralynn (Geri) Kottschade built the new and current building location on Madison Ave. Jerry and Geri had two children, Dan and Laura, both of whom grew up working at the shop. Laura dreamed of taking over the shop and following in her parents’ footsteps since the sixth grade. Jerry retired in October of 2023, and Laura fulfilled her dream of taking charge. Jerry and Geri’s nephew is the general manager and there is a third generation of employees working at the shop as well (one body tech’s daughter, Leah, now works as a CSM there, and Leah’s daughter, Kylie, is the office manager). There is also a pair of brothers who work at Jerry’s, and Laura Kottschade’s childhood friend also works there.
Does your shop have a similar history? We want to hear from you! BodyShop Business will be compiling the exclusive list of the most experienced collision centers by virtue of their years established in the trade. Body shops wishing to be included in the BodyShop Business 500 may apply to be on the list at bodyshop500.com. It’s simple and will involve uploading an image of any document, old photo or business card that states the year you were established under the original owner.
The BodyShop Business 500 will be honored at WreckWeek June 20-22 in Dallas/Ft. Worth, featuring ShopXpo, the DRIVE Expo Conference and TowXpo.
Don’t wait, apply now!