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For the love of dirt


Dave Keller opened Keller Offroad and Performance  on July 1 in Carlsborg upon returning from active Army duty in Afghanistan.The 4x4 store sells truck, quad and motorcycle parts and accessories. Sequim Gazette photo by Ashley Miller

Dave Keller is living the all-American dream.

After completing a 13-month tour in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army, Keller returned home to Port Townsend, is serving in the Army Reserves, and opened his own business July 1.

Keller Offroad and Performance, 160 Harrison Road, caters to community 4x4 and offroad needs.

The store - located in Carlsborg near Sears and Big 5 - carries car, truck, quad and motorcycle parts and accessories, including brands like Bully, Westin, Dewalt, Warn, ARB, Curtis, Weather Tech, Sky Jacker and Rancho. Grill bars, super chips, toolboxes, suspension and lift kits, and other 4x4 "must haves" are all just a phone call away.

The stores shelves might look a little empty, Keller said, but that's because he doesn't plan to carry a lot of inventory in stock.

"A person will come in one day and want a part for a Ford and then another person will come in the next day and want the same part but for a Chevy," Keller said.

"It's easier just to order the part and get it the next day than to carry the same part from five or six different manufacturers."

Nonetheless, the store carries parts from more than 200 manufacturers, not to mention what's available next-day-air.

Custom fabrication work is performed on site.

Keller, 30, has dreamed about owning and operating his own business for years. He did his homework before deciding to open up a 4x4 shop and chose Sequim because he thought it would be the best place on the peninsula.

"The Sequim market is just starting to come back," Keller said.

"All the 4x4 shops seemed to have closed up but there's still about four offroad clubs that are glad to see somebody carrying the things they need."

Opening an offroad store is a fantasy Keller and his brother discussed on more than one occasion. When he finished a 7-year commitment with the Army, Keller decided to stop talking and take action. He approached the bank about a business loan, qualified, and opened up the businesses less than 30 days later.

Though he's in business alone, Keller said he often turns to his older brother for advice and as a sounding board. Keller studied automotive mechanics in college and his brother has previous self-employment experience.

In an effort to make Keller Offroad known to 4x4 fans all over the peninsula, Keller hosted a car show and barbecue event in July, something he hopes to make a regular event.

Business hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.

For more information, look for Keller Offroad and Performance on Facebook or call 683-7134.

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