Some people have called Corey Shantz a brave man.
First Shantz went into business with his mother Rebecca, opening Shantz Country Treasures. Now he’s started a second business with his mother-in-law, Carmen Ferber.
“In all reality, it’s very easy,” Shantz laughed.
Wellesley Auto Care opened its doors on Nafziger Road about a month ago, and so far it’s been a smooth ride.
Starting a garage was Ferber’s idea. She’s a counsellor with Morningstar Family Ministries, which offers residential care for troubled youth. The agency has a school in Wellesley, and most of the six boys aren’t academically inclined. She thought a repair shop would give them the chance to learn hands-on skills, doing job shadowing and small jobs like oil changes.
The idea didn’t come completely out of left field: Ferber’s father owned a service station, so she grew up with car talk. Shantz’s father worked at Parkway Ford for 33 years, and Shantz himself worked there for six.
While they were still talking it over, they were approached by Howard Fierling, who offered to sell them his building on Nafziger Road, just north of Queen’s Bush. Fierling didn’t know they’d been thinking of starting a business, but he had decided to move to Stratford and knew they were entrepreneurial people.
“We really felt God was leading us to this opportunity,” Shantz said.
All they were missing was a mechanic, and they found one in Allen Jantzi. Jantzi had done his apprenticeship in Wellesley and was looking to make a move. Also important to them, his Christian beliefs were a good fit.
“We really wanted an honest mechanic with integrity, and we got him,” Shantz said.
Fierling had been using the building to store furniture, but it was perfect for a garage because it was built as one back in the 1940s or ‘50s. Wagner’s Garage operated out of the building until it closed a few years ago.
“It’s all laid out for an automotive shop, which made our job a lot easier,” Shantz said.
They brought in new hoists and equipment and renovated the office area, work that is still underway. While they plan to spruce up the interior of the shop at some point in the future, that’s not a high priority at the moment.
Ferber noted that the location has eased the growing pains in another way, too; there was a garage on the site for so many years that people in Wellesley are familiar with a shop being there. Business has been steady since they opened, and they’ve already hired a second mechanic.
“People have received us very well,” Shantz said. “From day-one, it’s been car after car rolling in and out.”
Shantz acknowledged that there are a lot of negative stereotypes around the auto repair industry, and said they’re working to counter them one car at a time.
“We’re just committed to being honest and fair with the customer.”