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Kacalo takes the wheel at local City Cab business

EDWARD KACALO, NEW OWNER of Kacalo City Cab, with his three daughters — from left are Sheri Mann, Gia Kacalo and Stacy Gayan. (Theresa Proudfit/Daily News photo)

KINGSFORD — Edward Kacalo looked forward to working in his garden, a passion project, after retiring with 43 years at Grede Foundries, now AAM Casting.

Then a longtime friend had a suggestion.

City Cab owner Henry Patrick offered Kacalo the chance to drive part-time. Wanting to stay active in his retirement, Kacalo accepted. He labored in his garden during the day and drove cab in the evening and night, often in 12-hour shifts.

“I enjoyed it,” Kacalo said, adding, “I love people.”

So it went for nearly two years, until Patrick gathered his employees in the garage for an announcement: He wanted to step away from the company to spend more time with his wife, Kathy, and was offering his workers the chance to buy the business before he took it public.

Kacalo was intrigued but intimidated. He wondered if it was feasible to buy the operation and turn a profit, after figuring in wages, insurance, fuel, parts and other factors.

But for Kacalo, the more important question was — if he didn’t buy the company, would anyone?

Not wanting to find out, Kacalo agreed to take the chance.

“The community needs the service,” he reasoned.

Kacalo officially bought the shop in June and gave it his family name.

The company shuttles fares to and from Kingsford, Iron Mountain, Quinnesec, Crystal Falls, Houghton, Marquette, even Green Bay in Wisconsin — wherever needed, Kacalo said.

They also offer short-order runs to deliver basic items to customers, and free rides home for patients released from Dickinson County Healthcare System’s convenient care clinic and emergency room.

Retirement for now in his rear-view mirror, Kacalo looks to expand the business, which has five cabs and 14 employees. And he has no plans to slow down.

“Every stop,” Kacalo said, “is an adventure.”

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