Owner has 20+ years of experience
Matt and Angelia Smith have always wanted to own their own auto repair business.
509 Automotive Repair & Service
1419 E. Methow Valley Hwy., Twisp
8–5 Monday–Thursday, 8–3 Friday
After Matt worked 19 years at Quality Lube and Repair in Twisp, he and his wife took the leap and opened 509 Automotive Repair & Service at 1419 E. Methow Valley Hwy., on Oct. 14.
Born and raised in the Methow Valley, Matt has been an auto mechanic his entire adult life. He completed Wenatchee Valley College’s auto tech program before finding work at the old Coyote Ridge Automotive, and then at Quality Lube.
“I always loved working on cars, right out of high school,” Matt said. “I have always had the dream of owning my own repair shop, so we decided the time was right to step out and make it happen.”
Matt said he was exceptionally busy over his first month or so in business, sometimes working 15-hour days.
“We had a lot of people lined up, ready to go, when we first opened,” he said on Nov. 7. “We’re busy as can be, which is amazing.”
Angelia added that she and Matt have received support not just from customers but also from the community in general.
“We’ve gotten so much support, so much love,” she said.
509 Automotive repairs domestic and foreign vehicles, and diesel engines. Matt will change oil by appointment and install custom exhausts. Because Matt is certified with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), he can perform repairs under warranty.
The Smiths have one employee, with plans to add more. Mechanic Adrian Perez has been especially valuable to 509 Automotive because he is bilingual, they said.
Matt also has taken in two student interns, one from Liberty Bell High School and one from the Independent Learning Center.
“We need more young people who are going to go into the trades,” he said.
Matt and Angelia believe they are in the people business more than the car-repair business. His job is to take care of his customers, Matt said.
Angelia said she feels bad for people when she hears their stories about untrustworthy mechanics.
“We can be the exception, or remove the mechanic stigma,” she said. “We’re really about having good relationships with our customers.”
The Smiths credited the Methow Investment Network at TwispWorks for helping 509 Automotive with a startup loan. They’re also thankful to Hank and Judy Konrad for getting them into the old Cascade King’s building, and they already see opportunities for growth.
“We’re excited about the future growth of our business, where things are going to go,” Angelia said.
The owners are planning to makeover the exterior of their building and hold a grand opening in the spring.