How time flies!
The 7th of December 2020 marks an important milestone for all of us here at automotive repairs and maintenance company Auto Stop. It was on this day 30 years ago that Rodney and myself first put our toolboxes on a workbench at 22 Cleveland Street Stones Corner at our new business.
How things have changed immensely since then, yet in some cases come back full circle. For example in 1990, Australia was in the midst of a recession. Right now in 2020, we find ourselves in a similar situation experiencing another recession (with a COVID-19 epidemic thrown in).
Back in the day, Stones Corner wasn’t really the “place to be”. In fact, it was far from what you would normally consider an upmarket place then. In the mid 90’s, Stones Corner underwent a major revamp, becoming a busy shopping hub full of seconds outlet stores and quirky coffee shops.
In 2005, Direct Factory Outlet (DFO) opened up near the Brisbane airport, quickly becoming the new shopping destination for seconds fashion outlet customers. With all these new changes taking place, one-by-one the original Stones Corner outlets started hanging up “For Lease” signs in their windows and closing their doors for good. By this stage, Auto Stop had grown from just Rodney, myself and one hoist to Rodney and I plus two more mechanics, an admin worker and a total of four hoists.
In 2007, we had a change of guard when a new landlord took over the premises and gave us his word that we could stay on in the future and never be asked to leave. That offer didn’t last because in 2009 we received our marching orders and spent the next three challenging months searching for a new location for Auto Stop and then shifting our entire business to the new premises. Talk about a “mission” and a stressful time for all of us – but we made it through.
By this stage, Stones Corner and its surrounding areas were being rezoned for high-density development which meant little opportunity for us to stay in the area. With market prices continuing to rise and commercial property dwindling, we had to think about the next steps for Auto Stop.
We finally made the decision to move further out from the city and purchase our own shed so that Auto Stop could have a more permanent home. This brings us to where we are located today at 45 Flanders Street in Salisbury, Queensland. We started our new chapter here at Salisbury on the 16th of October 2009 and have been going strong ever since.
Since then, we’ve expanded our business with the opening of our second location on the 14th of May 2014 at 1/15 Gibbs Street Arundel on the Gold Coast.
As it stands, our team today consists of the following individuals:
Auto Stop Brisbane Salisbury
Brad Kurpersheok, Manager – joined Auto Stop in 2007
Thomas Marsh, Technician – joined Auto Stop in 2018
Jayden Dunn, Third Year Apprentice – joined Auto Stop in 2018
Auto Stop Gold Coast Arundel
Gavin Springate, Manager – joined Auto Stop in 2008
Codey Trethewey, Technician – joined Auto Stop in 2014
Looking back over the years, we’ve come a long way. And right from the start, we’ve always prided ourselves on our industry-leading service and quality automotive workmanship that sets us apart from our competitors.
Some of our proudest accomplishments over the past 30 years include purchasing our own premises outright. Another is having seven apprentices finish their time with us to go on and become fine technicians themselves. And last but not least, being a work colleague, business partner and friends with Rodney since the age of eight. Rodney and I have worked together full time for 37 years. In fact, Rodney has never worked with, or for anyone else but my family for 45 years – now that’s dedication.
Finally, I’d like to thanks to each and every one of the customers we’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years, as well as our talented team members who’ve made the journey with us this far.
We look forward to reaching our next business milestone and many more to come.
Happy 30th Anniversary Auto Stop!