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‘Treat each customer right’

Blakes Auto Repair opens in downtown Webster City

— Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Adri Sietstra Pat Blake checks out the engine of a vehicle in his shop in downtown Webster City. Blake had worked at other repair shops in the community before opening his own business.

When walking down Second Street, a wide variety of shops and businesses are displayed. Tucked in between Principal Financial and Dinsdale Motors is Blakes Auto Repair.

“I really like helping people out,” said owner Pat Blake. “I try to treat each customer right.”

The 36-year-old Webster City resident has been working on cars, trucks, mopeds and more since he was a teen.

“I like knowing that I can look at something differently than other people can and I can try to find a solution instead of seeing it as a problem,” Blake said.

“We try to do as much as possible,” he said. “I’ve worked on mopeds, four-wheelers, import vehicles…I’m not afraid to try something new. We don’t rebuild transmissions and we don’t do alignments though.”

He explained that he is always willing to give almost any job a try.

“Whether it works or not, 98 percent of the time it does. There’s always that two percent that kind of gets you,” he said. “That’s where education comes in and you learn stuff.”

Blake’s father was a mechanic. He got interested in auto mechanics after fielding questions from friends about cars growing up.

“I grew up around kids that worked on their own cars. They’d always have questions for me,” Blake said. “I didn’t know. So after awhile I just figured it out. Something triggered.”

“You look at something differently when you can figure it out yourself,” he said.

Blake was a mechanic in the Marines for seven years before attending NICC in Decorah for automotive repair.

Blake worked at three shops in Decorah before moving to Webster City in 2006.

Before starting his own business, Blake work for Tony’s Tire and Gerber Auto Care. Blake noted positive experiences at both business, but decided to go after his dream of owning his own business.

“Since I’ve been working on vehicles in Webster City for ten years, I have a decent name out there,” Blake said.

“I always wanted to do something of my own and own a business,” Blake said. “I walked into this building and saw so much potential. The location was nice.”

Blake is currently renting the building and has hopes to own it in the near future. According to Blake he has put in a lot of time and effort into his business.

“I ended up taking up trees in the back lot just so I’d have some parking room. I pressure washed all the walls off so that I could paint them. I had to insulate the ceiling. I also had to go into the basement and jack the floor up and level it out a bit,” he said.

Blake is currently working on remodeling the office area of the business. The remodel will include re-insulating the walls, sheet rocking, and re wiring.

Blake has learned a lot about running a business since he began his shop. Most notably, he learned about billing, accounts, and the importance of time management. As the business grows and takes on more customers in the future, Blake hopes to enhance the building and make the business as efficient as possible.

“In the next year my goal would be to own the building and cosmetically bring it up to par,” said Blake. “Within the next five years I would like to have a smoother process and flow of operations.”

Blake noted that he wouldn’t be anywhere without the support of customers in the community.

“I think out of all of this, I enjoy the people. They helped me build this without a doubt, “ Blake said. “I try to show as much appreciation to them as possible. The customers are the people that actually help me create the name and keep the doors open.”

“I try to do a good job for everybody,” said Blake. “I try to help everybody out.”

Blakes Auto Repair is located at 738 Second St. and ope an Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The shop is also open on most Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to noon.

For more information about Blakes Auto Repair call (563) 380-8287 or email blakesautorepair@outlook.com. Individuals can also check out the Blakes Auto Repair page on Facebook.

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