Chilliwack, British Columbia -- October 19, 2012 -- West End Autobody found a recipe for success in 1952 that has remained largely unchanged throughout the decades.
“Putting the customer first,” explains manager Jeff Englebrecht. "Our reputation has been earned over the years.”
This priority is something its customers clearly appreciate, as 250 of them gathered at the Chiliwack, B.C. shop recently to mark its 60th anniversary. The open-house festivities included shop tours, barbecue food and a bouncy castle to commemorate the shop.
West End Autobody recently held a customer appreciation event to mark its 60th anniversary.
The original staff of West End Autobody taking a break on what must have been a very hot day.
The facility opened in 1952, founded by partners Ken Dargatz, Alfred Prachnau and Emil Gaudet, and changed ownership once, when current owner Harry Englebrecht took over operations in 1974. By that time, original partner Prachnau had bought out his two co-founders, and was ready to move on from the shop.
Over half-a-century in business marks not only a successful venture, but also one that can sustain itself through changes in ownership, according to manager Jeff Englebrecht.
“60 years to me signals not only a one-time success of a business, but the ability to maintain and change with the times,” says Englebrecht, who notes that many initially successful businesses fall susceptible to mismanagement when the ownership changes hands.
“Many businesses start and die with their founder. They may have a vision or recipe for success, but is not correctly passed on,” explains Englebrecht, who attributes West End Autobody’s continued success to a successful transition of ownership.
West End is a member of the Quality Assured Collision Services family, an umbrella organization comprised of 16 independently owned collision repair shops in British Columbia.