“Is the coffee on?”
Bluffs resident and owner of Leach Camper Sales at 1629 Veterans Memorial Highway, Edd Leach, has been asked this question countless times before because of his tagline “The coffee is always on.”
This year, all of those cups of coffee and camper sales add up to Leach’s 50th anniversary as owner; although he said he has nothing special planned.
“I will be doing the same thing next Tuesday as I did 50 years ago next Tuesday — showing up for work,” he said.
However, the work Leach does Tuesday is different than it was 50 years ago.
“To begin with, I was the head bookkeeper, head salesman, head mechanic and head janitor,” Leach said. “Now I have a lot of other people doing those jobs, where I do a little bit of all of it, but nowhere near all of it.”
He commended his employees and said his head bookkeeper has worked there for almost 35 years; an assistant, a little over 30 years; the parts manager for over 20 years; a salesman for 29 years; and many others with over 15 years of experience.
During this time, the company has also physically grown.
Leach Camper Sales used to take up only half of one of the two buildings they have now, Leach said.
Leach Camper Sales went from minor sales to hundreds of units per year, advancements in campers. From being at the edge of town, Leach now sees Google across the street.
Over the years, campers have advanced to have larger chassis, diesel pusher motors, motorized roofs, air conditioning and automatic leveling functions.
“It seems that many people, young and old, want to experience the benefits of being able to have home be where you park it,” said Leach. “It’s fun family time for young families, and for retirees, a great way to have a second home someplace warm for the winter.”
Leach said there are many fun experiences he could talk about for hours.
For instance, one day he sold a new unit to a person from New York, two people from Florida, and nearly two days later, another individual from California.
“It was a regular week, just people traveling and they stopped by,” he said. “I always believe in trying to help the traveling public.”
A second experience he recalled was when he helped a man fix his refrigerator. The man was referred to Leach by a factory.
“Years later, a customer was camped under the Golden Gate Bridge in California and started talking about Leach Camper Sales, and couldn’t believe how we took care of him,” Leach said.
This amount of customer service, fun and coffee was what he had in mind when his tagline “The coffee is always on” was created.
“When I was doing my radio and TV commercials and would drink multiple cups a day and I said ‘I always have my coffee going,’” he said. “We changed our ad to ‘stop over for a cup of coffee,’ and they always stopped over for a cup of coffee. Next time, I said, ‘Don’t forget, the coffee is always on.’”
Leach said he still enjoys his job 50 years later and will stick around as long as he’s able.
“It’s unbelievable how many people say ‘Is the coffee on?’ and I say ‘Yep it is,’” he said.