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New car dealership, shop opens doors in Somerset

No one can accuse Scott Swenson of not having car sales experience.

"I sold my first car when I was 10 years old," Swenson said with a smile. "My parents owned a car dealership, so you can say it was born into me."

Swenson and his business partner Joe Christy own the new Somerset Sales and Leasing, 534 County Road VV in Somerset.

They are both new to the Somerset area: Swenson and his wife live in Buffalo, Minn., and Christy and his family live in Forest Lake, Minn. However, they were both attracted to the small-town atmosphere of the community.

"We did some market research and found that Somerset is a nice, tight, friendly community," Christy said.

Although Christy and Swenson may be new to the area, Mike Huber, owner of St. Croix Auto Works, is not.

"I used to come to Somerset during the summer for the concerts," Huber recalled. "I live in Lakeland (Minn.), so I spend half my time in Wisconsin, and half my time in Minnesota."

Huber had worked at a shop in Cottage Grove, Minn. before, but he wanted to have a larger facility with more options. When he saw Christy and Swenson advertise for someone to run the shop alongside the car dealership, he felt he couldn't pass up the opportunity.

"I really like the small-town atmosphere," Huber said.

Somerset Sales and Leasing, and the adjoining St. Croix Auto Works, opened its doors mid-April. They offer pre-owned cars priced at $10,000 or less, with each vehicle undergoing a safety inspection before being placed on the lot.

Currently, the business is truly family-run, with Christy's wife Melanie rounding out the team. They hope to expand into Internet-based sales as business grows.

Hours of operation for both the dealership and shop are Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-7 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Call 715-247-2300 or visit www.somersetsalesan for more information.

"This is an awesome location - beautiful building, full shop and tons of traffic," Swenson said. "It's a dream come true."