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Rydbom Service Center Turns 50 | News, Sports, Jobs


COALPORT — For half a century, Terry “Rudi” Rydbom pumped gas and cared for his customers, who in turn cared for him.

“I know all my clients by their first name. My clients are good people. If they don’t see me here, they worry about where I am. Without them, I wouldn’t be here this long.” Rydbom, 68, said.

Rydbom Service Station on Main Street celebrates 50 years in business and is one of the few remaining full service stations in the area.

“I never thought of changing it to self-service, but we have customers pumping their own gas. It also keeps you active and healthy instead of just sitting here and staring out the window. In the selfs, they don’t even know who you are,” he said.

In 1972 Rydbom bought the business along with his father, Darrell, and brother, David, who left the business for other employment in 1973. Their father left in 1974 after suffering a stroke.

Reaching 50 years in business is not a big deal for Rydbom.

“Every day you go to work. People make a big deal out of it, not me. I go to work and that’s how it is. I’m here seven days a week. That’s nice. Who else stays in business for 50 years? » said Rydbom. “I was 19 when I started here. The owner of another gas station said at the time that we couldn’t do it. We are still here today.

For years the company was known as Rydbom’s Pennzoil. Today he sells the BEST gasoline from Blair County Oil, Holidaysburg.

Rydbom offers many services at its garage.

“We pump gas, check oil and inflate tires. We do oil changes, tire changes, brake repairs, exhaust systems, all kinds of mechanical repairs. We offer condition and emissions inspections,” said Rydbom.

He said he’s seen a lot of change at Coalport over the years.

“We lost a lot of businesses. Before, you could buy anything you wanted in this town. We are a survivor,” said Rydbom.

He says he has a good clientele.

“I have clients who have done business with me since I opened. Over the years I have had clients from State College, Somerset, Altoona, Tyrone, Bellwood, Bellefonte, Johnstown, Patton and Philipsburg. Some of them are people who have moved away and keep coming back,” said Rydbom.

Walt Hoey, one of Rydbom’s long-time customers, said: “I have been a client of his for at least 35 years. I love Terry; he is opinionated. Many people come back to him. He’s tough on the outside, but he’ll help anyone. He helped me a lot in difficult times. He’s just a nice guy.” said Coalport Borough maintenance supervisor Hoey.

Rydbom has stepped up to help the community during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We reduced our gas to $1.69 from $2.89, which is over a dollar a gallon. I had people here from Altoona to fill up. It helped us out , I probably shouldn’t have lowered it so much, but I did. I wanted to try and help the customers who didn’t have a job. Every little bit helped,” said Rydbom.

Rydbom said he has no immediate plans to retire, but hopes to eventually sell the business so he can move to Florida with his daughter, Taylor.

“It’s been on sale for four years” said Rydbom. “It’s hard to sell a business.”

Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at

814-946-7467.



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