In an interview with Karl and Sarah Eikenberg the Kiowa County Independent learned that the fate of Haswell Propane, a generational business and the only brick and mortar business left in the town would be in their hands as they have purchased Haswell Propane from Paul and Glenda Stoker.
Karl grew up in Haswell attending Haswell Elementary until its closure where he and his siblings then commuted to Eads to attend school. After high school Karl attended the University of Northern Colorado but quickly found that was not for him. He began working at Sears in the tire repair shop in 2000 and shortly after picked up another full-time job at Guernsey and Wheeler Ford in Greeley.
In 2005 Karl ventured out of the automotive sector to begin in the diesel mechanic field at a heavy-duty truck repair shop. This is where he was later told by the shop’s owner George, that he had gone out on a limb when he hired him. It was also George who led Karl to the lord and in the very shop where Karl was working, he became born again. Karl says, “George was like a father figure to me and, really, to everyone else that worked there too.” Karl worked in George’s shop until mid-summer of 2012 when he decided to move to Laramie, WY.
In Laramie is where Karl met his wife Sarah and her (now their) son Jaden, who was just 4-years-old at the time. Sarah grew up in Williamsburg, Ohio, and had moved to Laramie to be with her mom and stepdad. In April of 2013 Sarah and Karl were married.
Karl told us that he hated living in Laramie, he called his old boss George and asked if he needed any help, he did. In 2013 Sarah, Jaden, and Karl moved to Greeley, CO and in February of 2014 they welcomed their daughter, Reona, into the world. A year later in August 2015 their identical twin boys, Waylon and Brody, arrived which completed their family.
Karl states that it was, “During this time frame George was getting sick and things were starting to change. I was envisioning going out on my own as a mechanic but refrained from it.”
When Jaden began attending elementary school in Greeley, Karl states, “I realized that the school systems there were terrible.” Sarah and Karl then decided to try to move back to Kiowa County, “Where everyone knows everyone and it’s a great community to live in. More importantly, though, our children’s education was a big motivator for our move! Knowing that the school system here is one of the best in Colorado was very important in making our decision.”
Sarah found a few jobs here and Karl was working for a good farming family. Karl then got a job with CSI Compressco working on compressors for the oil field. Sarah works with the Eads Schools.
“When we first heard about Haswell Propane being for sale we were surprised. The station has been a staple business in Haswell and Kiowa County for many generations. Right away I was wanting to jump on board and purchase it, but after discussion Sarah and I thought the timing wasn’t right for us. Then in August of 2022 Paul and Glenda Stoker (Haswell Propane owners) reached out to let us know that the business was still for sale. Sarah and I talked and prayed more about this opportunity and decided it is the right time to pursue it!”
When asked what motivated the couple to purchase the business which is 20 miles from their home in Eads Karl stated, “I personally didn’t want to see the Haswell people, or the surrounding communities, not have access to these fuel and propane services. Haswell is my hometown. Everyone and everything there have a special place in my heart and mind, with many memories! I know the importance and value Haswell Propane has had on the community and I wanted nothing more than to see those services be continued for the good of the people.”
Karl and Sarah are pleased to say that as of November 14, 2022, they are the owners of S&K Fuel and Repair. Their business will be run by Karl, Sarah, and with the help of their children. While the couple has had issues with obtaining licensing and insurance Karl tells us that everything is finally in place, and they can now open for business.
“Our goal is to continue to provide many of the great services everyone is used to such as a small conveniece store with some drinks and snacks, fuel pumps, and fuel & propane deliveries. We would like to replace the old pumps with card pumps so that anyone can get fuel 24/7, but that will be further down the road. We are also doing some renovations in the back portion of the shop (which will take longer to complete and get going) in order to provide a mechanic shop.”
In the future when the mechanic shop portion of the shop is complete Karl will be able to do alignments, flat repairs, and all other mechanic work.
“As you can imagine, being a new small business owner comes with many responsibilities and unique challenges, but Sarah and I are excited to learn and grow in order to serve this great community!”
In closing the couple had this message, “We want to first thank God, our Father, for opening up the doors and making it possible for us to purchase the station! Thank you to Paul and Glenda for helping us get started, lending their hands and time, and getting us through many different obstacles. And a huge thank you to the community for your continued support and patience as we get started! We look forward to serving you for many years to come and would like to invite you to our grand opening (of the front portion of the station) on January 9, 2023, at 10:00 AM, if no other obstacles arise. You can follow us on Facebook at S&K Fuel and Repair for the latest details.”
Currently the hours of operation are Monday through Friday 7:30 AM-5:30 PM and Saturday 8:00 AM through 12:00 PM but will offer different hours through Harvest. You can visit or contact S&K FUEL AND REPAIR at 403 State Highway 96 or by phone at the business (719) 436-2301 or by cell at (719) 355-5588.