In 1946, Clarence “Shorty” Willkomm started with Mobil Oil Company, driving on wholesale gasoline and fuel oil route. In 1972, son Jerry Willkomm came on board to help Shorty, who was dealing with health issues at the time. In 1979, Jerry Willkomm Inc. was formed as a Mobil Oil Distributor. As the company first ventured into retail, both Michael and Jim Willkomm became the third generation to work in petroleum distribution.
Jerry & Cathy Willkomm opened the Washington Avenue Mobil Mart, Express Lube, and Car Wash in July 1989. It was the first Mobil location to have a free standing Express Lube and Car Wash in the country. The Willkomm family expanded to Kenosha in November of 1990 with the opening of Sports Plaza Mobil Mart. They opened Highland’s Mobil Travel Plaza in December 1993.
The Willkomms decided to franchise their travel center with PETRO – the leader in the truck stop industry. Highlands PETRO opened in March of 2000. The conversion included building a new PETRO:Lube, ten acre parking lot, Iron Skillet Restaurant and remodeled travel store.
Washington Ave. Mobil was rebuilt in 2006. In addition to a NEW On the Run convenience store and full serve Burger King, this new monster includes: a state-of-the-art car wash, a drive-thru on both the Burger King AND the On the Run convenience store, a self-serve pet wash, dynamic, digital signage and a trend-setting rest room voted #1 public bathroom by Racine Journal Times poll (Oct. 2007). Washington Ave Mobil changed from On the Run to Willkomm’s own brand in 2011.
In 2008, the Willkomms took ownership of Southport Mobil on Hwy 50 in Kenosha. The Willkomms then converted the Mobil Mart to an On the Run Convenience store with car wash, pet wash, drive thru and their trademark bathrooms.
In 2011, the Willkomms purchased a gas station in Oak Creek at 27th Street & Ryan Road. The lot contained two buildings: the convenience store and a large empty facility. We did a complete remodel of the second building to create the perfect atmosphere for our new restaurant, The Dish.
In 2016, TA Corporate decided to re-brand all of the PETRO:Lube as TA Truck Service. The Willkomm’s decided to not continue the franchise with Burger King and developed their new restaurant, BOSS Burgers-N-Beef at the Washington Ave. Mobil location featuring build your own burgers and mouth-watering Italian beef.
In 2017, Willkomm’s opened Rocket Wash, Willkomm’s on Spring and The Dish Restaurant at Hwy 31 and Spring Street in Racine. In first year of existence, Rocket Wash voted the BEST Car Wash in Journal Times poll.