Got Bugs? Head to Dr. Huggs
Not too sure if this was the path for him to choose, Christian enrolled in college to study engineering. However, in 1973, he and his family decided to open a family run, car wash business and elected to begin their career in the heart of the City of North Tonawanda.
While contemplating ideas for what to name the establishment, the family began to reflect on the man who sold them the property, Rich Cino, who was a man that offered hugs to everyone he met.
Cino later earned the nickname, “Dr. Hugs.”
The Christian family couldn’t find a more suitable name for their new business and soon named the establishment after Cino, and the name many new him by, Dr. Huggs.
Not too long after opening Dr. Huggs on Erie Avenue, North Tonawanda, the facility was becoming more successful, so much in fact, the family decided to expand their locations throughout Western New York. There are currently six Dr. Huggs locations, each owned by a member of the Christian family.
Although successful, Christian described business as a roller coaster.
“There are extreme highs and extreme lows in the car wash business. We are currently coming out of a real low,” said Christian. “Our business flows from care sales - the more people who buy new cars, the more people want to wash their new cars. Luckily, the people who live in NT seem to take better care of their cars.”
Christian touched on why it is more beneficial for residents to head to a Dr. Huggs car wash, than by washing their cars themselves.
“There are a lot of environmental concerns when you wash your car by yourself,” said Christian. “The water used, while washing your car at your house, runs into the storm sewers and then into the lake. While water used at an established car wash facility runs into the sanitary sewers and then into the water treatment plant, where it is sanitized and reused.”
Additionally, Christian noted other states across the country are paying close attention to this concern. On average, during the summer there could be 50,000 people in their driveways washing their cars on a sunny weekend.
Dr. Huggs offers a five-day guarantee, reasonable prices and the sale of propane at four of the six locations including, Grand Island, North Tonawanda, Sheridan Drive and Niagara Falls Boulevard. Propane sold at the facility will fill the tank to capacity at a maximum limit of 20 pounds, while exchange tanks are only filled to 15 pounds, which is only three quarters of the way full.
Although Western New Yorkers continue to provide great business to Christian at all are locations, after 40 years of washing other peoples vehicles, Paul D. Christian will be stepping out of the way and making a path for his son, Paul A. Christian, to take over running the family business.
Christian plans to relax, and embark on other endeavors in the near future.