Short­en­ing the drive for car ser­vice in Hawkesville

A joint ven­ture be­tween Leroy’s Auto Care and Auto Fleet Ser­vices, Hawkesville Auto will be host­ing a grand opening event Fri­day evening, an open house for res­i­dents to check it out

The Woolwich Observer - - VENTURE - ALI WIL­SON

HAWKESVILLE HAS WEL­COMED ITS first and only auto care cen­tre, thanks to the merger of two com­pet­ing own­ers.

Leroy Martin, owner of Leroy’s Auto Care in Elmira, and Brad Bow­man, owner of Auto Fleet Ser­vices Inc. in St Cle­ments and part owner of Thoman Tire in St. Ja­cobs, met through lo­cal cour­ses. Hav­ing much in com­mon, be­ing in the au­to­mo­tive trade, the two de­vel­oped a re­la­tion­ship over the past few years and dis­cussed the idea of set­ting up shop in Hawkesville. Both have cus­tomers from the area who had to travel to get to their other lo­ca­tions.

“I al­ways thought it would be nice to have some bays over here, then we could look after some cus­tomers and clients. I got talk­ing to Leroy and he said, ‘I have some clients and cus­tomers over there also, why don’t we just work to­gether and do some­thing to­gether?’ and that’s what we did,” ex­plained Bow­man of the ori­gins of Hawkesville Auto Care Inc.

“This is a com­bi­na­tion of both of us and we are kind of us­ing both of our re­sources to pool as one. We are net­work­ing to­gether, try­ing to form it that way, work­ing to­gether in­stead of against each other.”

“We have found that it has worked re­ally well just for so many of those dif­fer­ent re­sources to help each other out, in­stead of try­ing to com­pete,” added Martin. Martin says that the part­ner­ship has helped them pro­vide the best re­sources and parts for their auto cen­tre, some­thing that can be dif­fi­cult for smaller op­er­a­tions nor­mally.

“The ad­van­tages of net­work­ing to­gether with buy­ing parts and things like that is bet­ter do­ing it to­gether,” said Martin. “To run a small garage like this, to ser­vice Hawkesville all on its own is re­ally hard with where the in­dus­try is going with the amount of money that needs to be put into equip­ment and all that. So, to get a place like this going with its size would be pretty hard with­out the back­ing of each other. But when you pull to­gether, it al­lows us to have a place here and a place in Elmira, St. Cle­ments and all kind of dif­fer­ent spots and work to­gether.”

Com­bin­ing re­sources was a key part of the equa­tion for the co-own­ers, but the lo­ca­tion was the real ben­e­fit for them. Be­ing lo­cated be­hind FKS Elec­tric, the own­ers say the ven­ture fills a void for a lo­cal auto cen­tre.

“Peo­ple are look­ing for con­ve­nience and look­ing

for ser­vice. So con­ve­nience is hav­ing it in­stead of hav­ing one big shop some­where – it’s not al­ways con­ve­nient. Hav­ing a shop here in Hawkesville and try­ing to spread them out across the re­gion, peo­ple love the con­ve­nience. If you can ser­vice them and treat them fairly and look after them, that is what is going to draw the peo­ple here,” said Bow- man. “The con­ve­nience and be­ing able to share a net­work to­gether is re­ally what made this thing.”

Hawkesville Auto Care opened in March and has since been ser­vic­ing the lo­cal com­mu­nity as well as many of the fleets from busi­nesses in the area.

The two will be cel­e­brat­ing the new auto care cen­tre with a grand opening party to­mor­row (Fri­day).

“I think some peo­ple might be a lit­tle ap­pre­hen- sive about com­ing by just to do a once-through, to see what the place is like, so this is just an op­por­tu­nity to come by: it’s an open house, where you can see things with no obli­ga­tion,” said Bow­man. “You can come in, have a bite to eat, have a look around, meet the em­ploy­ees, it is just here for peo­ple to see.

“We both thought that was a great idea to have peo­ple come in with­out hav­ing to walk in the front door and nec­es­sar­ily want any­thing, but who just want to see the place.”

The event will of­fer up food and door prizes for those who at­tend, Martin ex­plains, and will have guest sup­pli­ers present to speak about parts as well as in­for­ma­tion on tires for those in­ter­ested in the of­fer­ings.

The grand opening runs 5-7 p.m. on Oc­to­ber 13, rain or shine.

[ALI WIL­SON / THE OB­SERVER]

Leroy Martin and Brad Bow­man have just opened a new auto care cen­tre in Hawkesville, the first for the village.

[ALI WIL­SON / THE OB­SERVER]

The two will be hav­ing a grand opening cel­e­bra­tion Fri­day (Oct. 13) with a BBQ, door prizes and in­for­mal sup­plier in­for­ma­tion.

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