OLD FORT, N.C. (BRAIN) — Kitsbow Cycling Apparel begins offering full-service bike repair out of its visitor center beginning this week.
The Old Fort Ride House Bike Shop, Powered by Schoenauer Service Course, will be managed and staffed by Chad Schoenauer, a longtime area bike mechanic and service manager. He has more than 30 years of experience in the industry and the Asheville area road racing scene.
Schoenauer will rent a 700 square-foot space, with Kitsbow providing point of sale terminals, marketing assistance, and other support.
“Kitsbow has been a tremendous partner at startup, and no doubt will be in the future,” Schoenauer said. “Kitsbow has already developed an excellent customer experience with the Old Fort Ride House. SSC will enhance the Ride House experience and vice versa.”
He said with Kitsbow’s help, many of the barriers for beginning his shop have been eliminated.
“Not only is the space itself ideal for a shop, but it’s also within an extremely secure building, has awesome lighting, compressed air lines installed, fixtures, furniture, and even shelving has been shared with SSC,” said Schoenauer, who added he will provide his own tools. “They have graciously allowed me to utilize the Ride House POS, saving a lot of time and expense. Unifying the customer experience is extremely important to Kitsbow and SSC. I am thrilled to work with these folks. (CEO) David Billstrom knows that when SSC benefits, Kitsbow will as well.”
The Ride House is located next to the manufacturing facility and is on the doorstep of 70,000-plus acres of public land and more than 40 miles of trails in and around Old Fort. The bike shop will be part of other amenities already offered, including a cafe, device-charging stations, bike racks, public restrooms, changing rooms, and free filtered chilled water.
While bike sales and rentals are not yet part of the shop’s rollout, it likely will be the next step, said Billstrom, who added the company is talking to several major brands about hosting a demo center.
In addition to service, Schoenauer will “act as a concierge to help choose your new bike,” Billstrom said. “I think he’s going to have a robust business building bikes for people who buy them on the internet. We are supporting him in many ways to hit the ground running.”
And because of the bike boom, Schoenauer predicts a fast start.
“Most shops are out three-plus weeks for turnaround,” he said. “This is where the greatest opportunity lies. This is especially so for an area such as Old Fort, which is seeing growth in the outdoor recreation sector, particularly in cycling.”
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BRISTOL – Michael Hamelin said the biggest challenge in running an independent automobile shop is keeping oneself educated on the numerous trends and changes that have come with the evolution of vehicles.
Hamelin & Sons Automotive Repair at 64 West Street celebrated their success in overcoming that challenge for 75 years of business, Thursday. Michael is a third generation owner of the business and his nephew, Joe Hamelin, is set to inherit its operation in due time. Joe is the son of Michael’s brother, Dave.
“As near as we can place it, the business started in October of 1946,” said Michael. “We’ve always been in this location and it started with a small two bay garage and over the years we’ve had three expansions of the building. The first expansion was around 1955, then 1985 and then 2001. We were originally gasoline and repairs. We eliminated gasoline and now it’s emission and repairs.”
Michael said the business’ specialties have changed a little over the years depending on who was on staff and owning the business at the time.
“For a while it was automatic transmissions then it was carboateur rebuilding,” said Michael. “Now, it’s obviously into emissions repairs and that type of stuff. It varied. Basically, we’ve always done general repairs and service.”
Michael said that his grandfather Ernest and Uncle George started the business.
“My father joined them but he was not an owner until 1978 and that’s when my uncle retired. Ernest had retired previously. In 1984, my father retired, then it was my brother Dave and myself. My brother just retired in January of 2019.”
Currently, Michael runs a staff with four employees. He makes up the fifth worker on site.
“I’ve been working here since I was 14-years-old,” said Michael. “Most everyone here started sweeping floors and worked their way up.”
Michael said that hardest thing about the business is staying educated.
“Being an independent (automotive repair shop), we’re a small business. Trying to stay educated is always on us and we don’t have a corporate backing. We’re not a dealership. Keeping up with the technology, even back when my father was here, he had to keep up,” said Michael. “Our greatest success has been longevity and the loyalty of our customers.”
Michael said he’s maintained his certification as master mechanic for 45 with Automotive Service Excellence since he first received it when he was 21.
Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce President Cindy Bombard and Bristol Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu both said that businesses such as Hamelin and Sons were the backbone of American Main Streets across the country.
Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Thursday, 10 June 2021 15:29. Updated: Thursday, 10 June 2021 15:45.
We will be closing on Saturdays Effective October 3rd, 2020
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We are ready to serve you and your family with the best auto service in the Carrollton area. We are committed to being “Your auto repair shop” for all auto maintenance and service needs. Carrollton Complete Automotive is a complete automotive repair and maintenance facility servicing all domestic and import vehicles including light and medium duty trucks. We offer a wide range of services from routine maintenance, state inspections, and brake service, to the most comprehensive vehicle repairs, including engine and transmission replacement.
Through our relationship with GoodYear, we are now offering the Goodyear Credit Card which offers 0% financing for 6 months on tires and service!
Carrollton Complete Automotive is conveniently located at 1401 Wainwright Way, which is near the intersection of Frankford and Dickerson. Our business hours are 7:30 to 6:00 Monday through Friday. We are no longer open on Saturday. We hope to see you soon!
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With great care and concern Jeffs’s Auto Repair is open and operating as an essential business in our community during this crisis.
We are adhering to strict social distancing and sanitary guidelines by offering our “Contactless Service” with: online scheduling, communication by text, phone, or email, key drop service, and all sanitary precautions are taken to assure we are operating safe and staying healthy.
Jeff’s Auto Repair is committed to our employees, keeping all employed and paid through this difficult time.
In gratitude and appreciation for our health care professionals and first responders, we are offering them priority scheduling, a complimentary oil change complete with diagnosing and inspecting any concerns they may have with their vehicle. We are humbled by their commitment to keeping our community healthy and support their efforts.
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Jeff’s Auto Repair is open and operating as an essential business during COVID-19. We are here to serve our community and keep our customers moving forward.
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