In a world where big brand name retailers often squeeze smaller independent operators out of the market, it’s gratifying to see a local retailer not only successfully competing but also expanding. That’s a remarkable feat in any sector, but it’s particularly impressive when it happens in Guelph’s automotive repair industry, now home to three locations of Vinnie’s Mr. Fixit.
With plans for a soft-launch in mid-September, Vinnie’s Mr. Fixit will be opening up its brand new third location at 86 Dawson Road across from the Dawson medical buildings. Since 1990 the location was home to Autocool, an automotive repair shop that specialized in HVAC Repairs, brake service and replacement, and tire sales.
However, with the untimely passing of its owner earlier this year, the shop and all its contents were put up for sale and eventually purchased by Vinnie’s owner Vince Klimkosz.
“The family operated the shop for a short while after Tonys death, but sadly closed in April,” said Klimkosz. “We negotiated a deal with the family to buy everything. We’ll be opening after the second weekend in September.”
The new addition to the Mr. Fixit family has five regular service bays along with two heavy duty lifts. Those two lifts will allow Vinnies Mr. Fixit to offer additional services not available at the two other locations, but the new location will also continue to offer HVAC services previously offered by Autocool.
“The heavy duty lifts will allow us to service larger vehicles like cube van, small buses, and dump trucks,” said Klimkosz. “We’re able to do all the same work done by the former owner, but we’ll also be offering brakes, exhaust, front end, and everything else. We have one of the former employees, Shawn Stewart, coming back. We have Adam DeVries there and we will have an apprentice. That’s what we’ll start with but we’re always hiring.”
The new location solidifies Vinnie’s as the largest automotive repair company serving Guelph’s population of 140,000+ people. Klimkosz said it is rare for a local automotive company to have three locations in the same city, but the expansion is more proof that Vinnie’s Mr. Fixit has earned a strong reputation for service over the years.
“We started off in my parent’s basement with a pit and we’ve slowly grown from there,” said Klimkosz. “It’s taken a lot of hard work and trust and treating people right. It goes to show how important service is in becoming successful.”
To reach the new location, call 519 821-8188. For full automotive service and advice, visit Vinnie’s Mr. FixIt online.
Or drop by either of their two current Guelph locations: 30 Hayes Avenue, or 41 Woodlawn Road West.