Jack and Rita

(NCE PHOTO/GREGORY MYERS)

After 26 successful years of business, Jack and Rita Willier have sold the Morocco Car Wash & Gas Station and will be retiring.

MOROCCO — After 26 successful years of business, Jack and Rita Willier have sold the Morocco Car Wash & Gas Station and will be retiring.

The couple said their last day was September 30 and the new owners will take over officially on Oct. 2.

“We expect them to open back up right away,” said Rita.

“It has been some fun years, but its time to retire,” said Jack.

Jack and Rita, which is what everyone in the Morocco community calls them, purchased the gas station more than 26 years ago a few years after they moved to Morocco after Jack retired from trucking.

“We saw an opportunity here with the gas station, and then soon after we purchased it we started adding more things to it until it truly was a complete convenient store,” said Rita. “At first it was difficult to get suppliers because they all thought we wouldn’t make it here. But Pepsi took a chance with us and we have been with them ever since.”

The Morocco Car Wash & Gas Station offers a variety of products including its popular soft serve ice cream during the summer, but over the years it has grown into more than just a store for the town. It has become a social gathering place for residents.

“It is not just a store, it is like a big family here,” said Beverly Bingham, longtime customer, and friend of Jack and Rita. “They have a saying here in Morocco and that is you are only a stranger here once and that fits Jack and Rita. Jack has the guys here in the morning and Rita has the girls in the afternoon.”

Jack and Rita took a chance on starting a business in Morocco, but it has paid off in more ways than one.

“We can’t express how much it means to us for the support we have had from the community over the years,” said Rita. “We can’t say thank you enough.”

When asked what they will miss the most, they both said the people here.

“The people of Morocco are really good people,” added Rita with a tear running down the side of her face. “We made it this long because of the people here. They were extremely open to us when we first started and we grew so close to so many people during our time in business.”

Jack and Rita may be retiring but that doesn’t mean they are going to be leaving the community.

“We are still going to be living here, and I want to stay active in the community,” said Rita. “I may do some volunteering. I don’t want to lose touch with the people that we have grown to love here. We aren’t going anywhere, there is no place like home, and home is Morocco for us.”

Jack and Rita said they wish they could have organized a way to say goodbye to all of their great customers, but the sale of the business finalized very quickly.

“All we can really say is that we hope the people in this community will be as good to the next owners as they have been to us,” concluded Rita.