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Krouse's Machine Shop open for business


January 30, 2020

-East Washingtonian photo by Connie Boyer

Even though harvest is months away, Steve Krouse, owner of Krouse's Machine Shop, experiences no lag in repair demand as he sets to ready the Gleaner combine for the 2020 cutting season.

POMEROY–Former employee of the Main Street business, Fruh's Repair, Steve Krouse, has recently bought the machine shop, succeeding Ed Fruh upon his retirement on December 31, 2019. He recently reopened the business on January 6, 2020 as Krouse's Machine Shop, offering the same services of automobile, truck and combine repair. He will also continue gunsmith services he has been doing for quite some time, limiting it to cleaning and repair.

Krouse's Machine Shop was formerly in operation in Pomeroy for many years, when it was owned by his family. It was located just across the street, in the building just to the west of the new fire station on Main Street. He still has the original sign that hung in front of the business, and plans to use it for the new shop location.

Krouse has had more than 35 years of experience as a mechanic, beginning with working on farm machinery at his family farm and for another farmer. He graduated from the Automotive Technology training program at Spokane Community College, and worked for Ed Fruh for 18 years, which was his first real job.

When he was born, his family owned a ranch at the Starbuck turn off, but his parents divorced when he was two years old. He and his siblings lived with Pomeroy resident Donna McGee, for a while. His Junior High and High School years were spent in Dayton, where he graduated in 1972. He returned to Pomeroy when he was offered a job as a parts man for Ed Fruh. That was his only job until he joined the Garfield County Sheriff's Department as a deputy in 2008. Krouse was with the Sheriff's Department until 2018, when his second bid for Sheriff was unsuccessful. He decided then to find another career and focused on gunsmithing.

He knew that Fruh had been offering his business for sale for a while, and needed help with the work load. Krouse contacted him and asked if he could use some part-time help, and was hired. The part-time work quickly turned into full-time. When he learned that Fruh had received an offer for the business that didn't work out, Krouse took the opportunity to strike a deal with Fruh and take over the business.

Now the tables have been turned, and Fruh has been helping Krouse by working part-time for him. Krouse doesn't foresee hiring any other help, unless he was to find a qualified parts man. Currently, he doesn't plan any major changes beyond adding a waiting room that doubles as a break room, organizing and giving the place a bit of spit and polish. He would, however, like to expand the parts department by adding more inventory eventually.

Krouse and his wife, Laurel, have been married 22 years with three children from a former marriage, Cody, Levi and Stevie, and a younger son with Laurel, named Carson who still lives in Pomeroy. Krouse says his kids are all "city kids," and have shown little interested in the mechanics business at this time.


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