Rosemount business aims to keep your computer off the sick list
When Ahmed Fouad came to the United States 18 years ago he took a class on computer hardware repair. He still believes it's one of the best investments he ever made.
Fouad came to the United States from Egypt to work in a San Francisco-area branch of a travel agency his uncle owns. But when travel to Egypt slowed down, Fouad started looking for other ways to make some money. He started a computer repair business, and he's been working with computers in one form or another ever since.
"It didn't take me really long to realize there are better places I can help myself more than the travel industry," Fouad said.
Fouad moved to Rosemount four years ago thanks to a connection made on the other side of the world. His mother met another woman on vacation. They started talking. They both had children in the United States who were single and had children, so they arranged for an exchange of information. Before long, Fouad was married and on his way to Minnesota. He said it made more sense for him to come here because of the quality of the schools. His children and step-children are all enrolled at either Rosemount Middle School or Rosemount High School.
For the first three years he was in Minnesota Fouad made money through a K-Bid.com, an online auction site that is a bit like ebay, except everything is local. Fouad would buy old computers, fix them up and sell them. He also sold solar lighting.
All of the laptops he sold came with a service contract.
A year ago, he branched out with PC-Care, a computer repair service he runs from a tiny space located that shares a building with Rick's Auto Repair. The cluttered space is filled with complete computers and computer parts. He has machines he's putting together to get ready for sale. He does most of his business with small businesses - law firms and dentists' offices - and he's advertised mostly just through word of mouth.
"It's keeping me going," he said. "I buy my gas. I buy my food. I pay my mortgage. I'm doing great.
Now he's hoping a new sign posted outside will help him do even better. Fouad put the sign up last Friday and by Tuesday he'd already had four calls.
Fouad, whose brother-in-law is one of the owners of Bella Pizza in Rosemount, likes the computer business. He likes fixing things, and he likes helping people get back to work.
"I love it," he said. "People treat me like a doctor, like an engineer. When you go inside the houses and small businesses, people (with broken computers) have trouble doing their work. In a few minutes, you enable them to do their work."
To contact PC-Care call 651-494-8979 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.