Kountry Ken's in Stanley is closing its doors
A staple car dealership in Northeast Iowa is closing down after more than 40 years and leaving behind a legacy.
Kountry Ken in Stanley first opened its doors in April of 1976. Since then, you could find Lynne McManigle at her desk front and center when you walk in the door. However, in the last few years fewer people have been coming in. McManigle said the economy has a lot to do with it along with the death of her best salesman and love of her life, Ken McManigle, in 2016. Ken wasn’t known for is tact.
“One time, Ken asked this customer from Omaha what was wrong?” she said. “Ken said yup, you were expecting a salesman in a suit. All you’re getting is me in this sweatshirt and dirty hands.”
Together, the partners in both marriage and their business did the best they could do for their family.
“We never got rich but we paid our bills we raised our kids what else do you get out of life,” said Manigle.
The closing of the storefront isn’t just going to be hard for the family but all of Northeast Iowa.
“You can see those little red tags on the back of cars from Cedar Rapids to Waterloo and all over Northeast Iowa,” said Rodger Sill. “They bring people to Stanley. Anytime something was going on like the park project in the early 2000s or fire firefighter benefits, they were always there spending their time and money.”
While Lynne continues to try and sell all of the equipment and cars from the property before she officially closes the doors, she hopes someone else can come in and take over the business and continue the Kountry Ken’s legacy her and her husband started together.
“I’d love to have someone else come in and do the same things we did just for the experience of doing it,” McManigle said. “I don’t think it’ll ever happen but it would be a dream for somebody to do this as we did.”