Atlantic Auto Repair putting customers first
Atlantic Auto Repair LLC has wasted no time establishing itself as a local, dependable body shop in Millville since the end of last fall, and owner Kevin Martin says catering to the customer is the key to his success. Accompanied by head technician Rob Bochanski and new hire Tony Gallagher, Martin plans to reach out to clients in any way he can, ensuring quality work and reliable service.
“When this opportunity became available,” said Martin, who spent most of his life in the construction industry, “I took it. I saw the area needed a neighborhood auto shop that offered honest, reliable repairs.”
Martin made a move to Sussex County five years ago from Pennsylvania, where he anticipated continuing his work in construction.
“Right after I got here,” he said, “was when the economy crashed.”
Since making the switch to the automotive industry, he promised himself to keep the same, tight-knit and friendly relationships with customers that had brought success to his ventures in the past.
“We want to make sure the customer understands what their needs are and why they need something,” he said. “A knowledgeable customer is really the best customer.”
As head auto technician, Bochanski brings with him the same personable character as Martin, as well as a wealth of knowledge.
“I found Kevin by chance,” said the Automotive Service Excellence- (ASE-) certified mechanic. “I had worked at an auto corporation in the past, and it’s nice to come to something that has more of a ‘mom-and-pop’ feel,” he said.
A year ago, Martin moved to lower Delaware from his home upstate, where he provided service at Pep Boys in Bear before a brief stint at the company’s Salisbury, Md., location.
Like Martin, Bochanski relies on the neighborly connection with clientele to help them feel welcomed and keep them coming back.
“You get more freedom with a local place, and you can interact with the customers more,” he noted. “That’s a part of the job that I really enjoy. In this industry, it’s important to talk to customers in person and tell them what I’m doing. People don’t want to be taken for a ride when they bring their car in.
“When someone goes to a mechanic’s shop, they might not get an explanation of what’s wrong with the car. If there’s a part that’s not working properly or needs replaced, I like to show people. That way, they get it, and they feel better about it.”
Working with a corporate name, Bochanski was constantly on the move, but being the lead technician at a local shop has given him plenty of work, too.
“I was worried about whether or not there would be enough to keep me busy,” he said, “but there’s plenty of work. I’m not sitting around at all.”
The hiring of his friend and colleague Tony Gallagher, who is slated to start early this month, will not only ease the workload, but help broaden Atlantic Auto Repair’s service.
“Rob is ASE-certified and can do pretty much anything with a car that you need done,” said Martin, “and Tony specializes in foreign cars and diesel engines. We’re trying to broaden the spectrum a little bit. That way, we can touch on everything.”
With the exception of wheel alignment, Atlantic Auto can accommodate virtually any auto repair needs.
“We can do pretty much anything you need,” said Bochanski, “tires, brakes, engine repair, timing belts, tune-ups – anything you can think of. On that same token, if we don’t have the equipment or manpower, we can tell you where to go and make recommendations. Most times, people like hearing that, too. If you go to a foot doctor, you don’t want him operating on your head. We can help you find who you need to get the job done right.”
Custom exhaust, diagnostics and light welding services are also offered at Atlantic Auto Repair.
Bochanski recognized that operating in a primarily resort area, the summer business will definitely peak.
“In the summertime,” he said, “a lot of people are coming into town and need their car fixed up. For a lot of people, auto body repair is something that’s out of sight, out of mind. They get in their car and they’re driving until something breaks.
“If they are coming in from D.C., Baltimore or Philadelphia, on vacation, we want to be here to help them when they need and let them know what they can do to prevent something worse from happening. A lot of people who need their cars fixed up will need to be on their way in less than a week. I’m used to that quick pace, and I’m looking forward to that.”
But it’s not only the out-of-town business that could bring success to the shop.
“We want to offer big garage quality with a neighborhood feel,” said Martin. “I understand business, and I stand by my word. We want to develop a rapport with the community and let people know what we’re about.”
By late April or early May, Martin plans to offer an open house. He also intends to establish events, like a Cruiser Night.
“We want to bring in the old, classic rides,” he said. “We’re here to be the garage you can trust. If someone’s dropping off their car for a half-hour, they can head over to the hair salon, Kool Bean or the toy store across the road. About 70 percent of our clientele are women. We want all of our customers to feel comfortable when they stop in.”
Since stating up with Atlantic Auto Repair, Bochanski has seen plenty of smiling faces leaving the garage.
“I haven’t had one person leave upset,” he said. “People are talking us up and handing out business cards. The area here is large, but it’s very tightly knit.”
Atlantic Auto Repair LLC is located at 35834 Atlantic Avenue in Millville, beside Lord Baltimore Elementary School. They are open Mondays through Fridays, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on Saturdays, from 8 a.m. until noon. They are closed on Sundays, although hours of operation are planned to expand during the summer season.
For more information, or to make an appointment, call (302) 829-1446. Visit www.atlanticautorepair.net for more information and to follow them on their Facebook site, or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.