Mark opened his shop 33 years ago this October. Although he didn’t start out to own an automotive repair shop, he was also trained to be a chef.
When he first started in this industry, he was working with Aaron’s auto wrecking. This was a Subaru only wrecking yard. From there, he started Brian’s Subaru clinic in White Center with Brian Page. Mark worked on this project for a few years, until Brian decided he didn’t want to be responsible for the business. Creating an opportunity to allow Mark to take control. Mark also had a towing company, Bryant Enterprises. In the past year Mark was able to move his operations into his new 7,000 square foot location. Currently situated in Kent, WA.
He recently sold his last tow truck. I asked him if he missed that side of his business, he said he does. There are many challenges with owning tow trucks. One of the largest hurdles to overcome is the 24-hour business day. Finding, and keeping, qualified employees to drive those trucks, while maintaining levels of good service for this type of business model. As you can imagine when you are hauling someone else’s vehicle whether it’s a $1,500 Chevy or a $50,000 BMW the regulations for drivers and insurance is stringent.
Keeping quality drivers isn’t the toughest part of business for Mark. It was finding a new location and moving the shop, and all the assets. Mark has moved three times in his over 30 years in business, recently into his new 7,000 square foot space. East Valley Auto Rebuild is not only a repair shop but he also has a full-service machine shop with a clean room. You can imagine how many pieces and parts had to be inventoried, moved, and unpacked once he located his new shop.
Mark is proud to have put together a team of people that can boast 125 years of combined experience amongst them. One of his employees has been with him for almost 30 years. Mark truly understands how to treat his employees and his customers.
One of the many reasons that keeps customers coming back to this shop, is that Mark is not afraid to explain repairs to people. I saw it firsthand during my initial visit. He was on the phone with a customer explaining what repairs were taking place, and even sent pictures to help them better understand. This is one of the reasons that he can secure business from dealerships. Mark knows this is one way to keep an edge over his competition.
Mark’s excellent understanding of customer service is not the only way East Valley Auto Rebuild gets their customers. He said that the internet plays a big role in capturing new business. He operates a website, Facebook page, and Instagram. Because he is both a mechanic and chef by trade, it can be difficult to keep up with these forms of technology, and keep East Valley Auto Rebuild running smoothly.
In his over 30 years in the trade industry, Mark has learned that customer service is the pinnacle of his reputation in this market. He has come to realize the importance of further growing his team. Delegating the management of his online presence and marketing of his services allows him, and the team that runs the day to day operations at East Valley Auto Rebuild, to continue to provide levels of customer service that they know will speak for themselves.
I asked Mark, in hindsight, if there was anything he would have done differently when he entered this industry. As I mentioned, he is a trained chef and was offered a good sum of money by Budd Gould to join his team and run several restaurants. This had to be enticing to Mark, especially as a young man. He has no regrets; Mark continues to enjoy the adventure he embarked upon all those years ago. He still cooks, using herbs from his garden and livestock that his family raises. He not only cooks for himself and his family, he also enjoys his ability to cook for and feed his employees on occasion. When the boss springs for pizza it’s always a good day. Working for someone who takes the time to put love into a home cooked meal, however, cannot help but create an additional level of good morale in the workplace!
As Mark looks ahead, he is excited to see what the future brings. The Subaru Guru and his team can not only service vehicles, they also possess the ability to do a complete rebuild of your engine on site. Which is not only a time saver, but also saves his customers money. Looking to add more horsepower to your vehicle? Look no further – East Valley Auto Rebuild has that covered too. Need a car tuned up to get a little more zip in traffic? No problem. Want a complete stroked out engine with a turbo charger? You guessed it; they will handle it all for you!