Bobby Williams is the senior partner of Bobby and Steve’s Auto World. Bobby grew up on a farm just South of Mora, Minnesota and attended the University of Minnesota for five educating years.
In 1954, Bobby started working for his brother, Paul’s Standard Oil gas station at Holmes and Lake Street in Minneapolis. After nine years of working for his brother, Bobby’s father mortgaged their family farm to buy Bobby his own gas station — right across the street from his brother’s. Williams’ business was an instant success, which he says had nothing to do with money. “I never worried about money. I was learning a lot and having fun,” he recalls. “I like serving people, and there’s nothing greater than helping people.”
Bobby did so well and had so much fun with his first station that he sold that one and bought three more. “All three of those stations were Standard stations,” Bobby recalls. In 1975, Bobby had a dream he would stay in the service station business, the very next day he got a call to buy a shell station at 494 & France Avenue in Bloomington. Bobby remembers, “right after I bought the station, I got a present from the seller, it was a Bible. The dream, the present, WOW!” “I knew what I’d be doing for the rest of my life.” This Shell station is the place Bobby met Steve Anderson. “Steve wore those blue tennis shoes and brown pants that I’ll always remember,” Bobby said. Steve would work nights to pay for school. Steve impressed Bobby and is now his partner at Bobby and Steve’s Auto World in Bloomington.
From 1975 to 1989 Bobby expanded his business to 12 different stations. In 1990, Bobby suffered a head-on collision which slowed him down and made him realize the 80 – 20 rule. “I had to get rid of the weak stations because eighty percent of my business was coming from twenty percent of my stations,” Bobby said. He sold eight of his stations and focused on four of them. A Shell station at 494 & France Avenue in Bloomington, a Texaco station at 35W & Washington in Minneapolis, a Texaco station at 37th and Central Avenue in Columbia Heights, and a service garage at 58th and Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis.
In October of 1996, Bobby and Steve Anderson opened the first Bobby and Steve’s Auto World in Bloomington, which replaced the old Shell station. Two years later in April, Bobby and Steve Williams (Bobby’s son) opened Bobby and Steve’s Auto World in Minneapolis which replaced the old Texaco station. It also being very successful led to further expansion. In July of 1999, Bobby and Jeff Bahe opened Jeff’s Bobby and Steve’s Auto World in Columbia Heights. “Jeff started working for me when he was 15 years old. I remember showing him for the first time how to serve a customer on the drive,” Bobby recalled. Bobby’s brother, Arlon sold his Bryn Mawr Mobil to Bobby & his team member TJ Jorgenson in September, 2003. In spring of 2005, Bobby’s team member, Jason Snyder became partner at Jason’s Bobby and Steve’s Auto World in Lino Lakes. The much anticipated Bobby and Steve’s Auto World Nicollet opened on June 16th, 2006.
By this point, one would think that the Bobby & Steve’s Auto World dream had been fulfilled. However, in 2011, Bobby and partners Steve Anderson, Steve Williams, and Randy Neis built the “most amazing” Auto World in Eden Prairie. In 2013, Bobby & Steve’s Auto World crossed the river and opened its first store in West St. Paul.