Longtime Minnesota Abra Franchisees High-Five Success
Published Sept. 11, 2023
Abra, kadabra, Kedrick and Louann. Although the saying doesn’t go quite like that, it took on a similar form for two industry experts and longstanding franchisees in Minnesota.
Kedrick and Louann Johnson, owners of KLST Inc., which includes Abra Elk River, Abra Princeton, Abra St. Cloud and Abra Duluth, have recently purchased location No. 5, Abra Cloquet, from fellow franchisee Mike DeBoer.
The road to operational excellence first began for Kedrick Johnson when working alongside his uncle in the 1960s. Kedrick continued to develop his skills until he was drafted in 1965. After returning from his service, Kedrick used his entrepreneurial spirit and industry expertise to establish his own auto body shop out of his father’s four-car garage. Kedrick’s stellar customer service and exemplary workmanship supported himself and his community for the decades to come.
By the early 1980s, Kedrick’s sons, Scot and Todd, began to express their interest in the trade and helped their father continue to grow his business. Thus, Johnson’s Auto Body, which would later evolve into KLST Inc., was born. Family is tightly knit into the fabric of Abra and KLST Inc. is a perfect example of just that: in fact, KLST takes its name from Kedrick, Louann, Scot and Todd.
By the early 1990s, the Johnson family was eager to expand through franchising opportunities, and based on its substantial support system, Abra was identified as the magic fit. The family officially purchased their first location, Abra Elk River, in June 1994.
In the nearly three decades that would follow, the Johnson family grew their store count, expanded their store sizes and made a positive impact on new communities along the way. In addition to the operational acumen displayed on the collision side of the business, the KLST Inc. Abra facilities have also achieved success with auto glass repair and replacement services.
“Success does not come easy without the hard work, diligence and adaptability demonstrated by the Johnson family,” said Wayne Kelly, vice president, operations, Abra. “It is always inspiring to see owners genuinely connecting with their industry peers and communities to leave a lasting impact and smile.”