The Tooele County community rallied to support the family of a Tooele City businessman who passed away last week.
Danny Marz, 56, passed away on March 8. He owned the Pit Stop Car Wash and Coffee Shop on the north end of Tooele City.
Marz’s wife, Tracey, posted on Facebook that her husband had died by suicide. She also posted the car wash and coffee shop would be closed on March 9 as family and employees mourned the loss of Marz.
Jon Gossett, president of the Life’s Worth Living Foundation and a Marz family friend, had a different idea.
Gossett rounded up help from the foundation and Stansbury High School’s Hope Squad. Together they opened the car wash and coffee shop on March 9-10.
“I told Tracey that with Danny gone, the family would need the income from keeping the place open,” Gossett said. “I thought it would be just a few of us down there kind of keeping the place open.”
But people poured in after word got out on social media about Marz’s death and efforts to keep the car wash and coffee shop open, Gossett said.
“We had cars lined up over 10 to 12 deep at times,” he said.
In addition to customers, additional volunteers also showed up.
“We ran out of Marz’s signature pink cookies,” Gossett said. “The regular supplier is in St. George, but local baker Ruth Dunn showed up with 100 pink cookies that she baked.”
The owner of The Coffee Shoppe sent employees to run the coffee machine and help make drinks. When the coffee shop ran out of syrup for Diet Coke, a local restaurant brought more. The Ladies Community Club of Tooele helped make sandwiches. Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen brought over lunch for the workers. A man showed up with a trailer and hauled away all the garbage bags. Employees from Denny’s Restaurant showed up and helped, according to Gossett.
“Tooele City Mayor Debbie Winn showed up to pay tribute to Danny,” Gossett said. “When she saw the long line of cars, she parked and came in and helped make sandwiches for most of the day.”
By closing time on Saturday, Gossett said they collected almost $6,000 in tips at the coffee shop and washed an estimated 500 cars at the car wash over the two days.
“The community really came together to support the Marz family,” Gossett said.
Marz grew up in California and moved to Utah around 2000. He moved to Erda from Ogden in 2008.
“I was tired of the California lifestyle,” Marz told the Transcript Bulletin in a 2009 interview.
Marz owned a concert promotion business, Rockin’ Northern Utah. In 2009 he was booking concerts at Saltair and donating 10 percent of the profits to Dads Against Drug Dealers, a nationwide charity founded in Utah that offers rewards for information that gets drug dealers off streets.
In July 2012, Marz and his wife broke ground for the Pit Stop Car Wash and Coffee Shop south of the North Pointe Medical Park. It was a $1.7 million investment.
In addition to coffee and drinks, the coffee shop offers wraps, salads and parfaits.
The Tooele County Health Department’s Live Fit program teamed up with Marz to promote the coffee shop’s menu as a healthier fast food option.
After opening the Pit Stop Car Wash and Coffee Shop, Marz used his Rockin’ Northern Utah business to stage three outdoor concerts at the car wash and coffee shop area. The concerts were designed not only to draw attention to Tooele City’s northern business district, but to also benefit local food banks. One of the concerts brought in over five tons of food.
Marz sought, but did not receive, the Tooele County Republican Party’s nomination for county commissioner in 2014 and 2016.
As recently as December 2017 Marz, with his concert promotion expertise, helped Gossett stage the Hunter Family Benefit Concert.
“That’s the kind of person Danny was,” Gossett said. “He was always there to help.”