#ShopFranklin Spotlight – Grove Street Auto Repair

For this week’s #ShopFranklin Spotlight, I got to know the Weidman family of Grove Street Auto Repair!

The crew - © Grove Street Auto Repair

The crew – courtesy of Grove Street Auto Repair

Brothers Patrick and Bob, with their sister, Jean, have been keeping cars and trucks all over Franklin in excellent shape since 1998. “It’s kind of in our blood, I guess,” says Patrick, referring to his time driving a tow truck for his uncle’s repair business while Bob worked in the shop. Although Patrick tried his hand at the insurance business after college, it wasn’t for him. “I hated it. Hated it. I lasted three months!” Since their uncle no longer owned his own shop by that point, Patrick channeled his “entrepreneurial spirit” and invited his siblings to join him in starting their own business. Bob and Jean were game, and Grove Street Auto Repair was born. These days, Patrick mainly handles the “higher-level” administrative end of the business, while Bob and Jean share responsibilities for the day-to-day estimates, invoices, inventory, and more. Bob’s primary territory is the shop floor, and Jean presides over the office, where she gets to exercise her creative side (like the carved Michelin Man pumpkin currently decorating the front window). The team approach is obviously working well; Grove Street Auto Repair was recently named one of the top 20 shops in the country by Modern Tire Dealer magazine, and it’s placed in the regional and local Readers’ Choice awards every year since 2007.

Originally located further down Grove Street, the shop has been in its current custom-built location since 2005. With five ASE-trained mechanics, Grove Street Auto Repair can service all types of cars and light trucks, both foreign and domestic. “Anything the dealer can do, we can do 90 percent of it,” Patrick says. The entire staff can diagnose and repair your brakes, shocks, exhaust, and even your emissions system if your state inspection doesn’t go well. Tom, who has been with the shop since the beginning, is certified as an L1 Emissions level technician, and can diagnose advanced emission trouble issues and complex driveability problems. If one of your car’s computerized systems, like the anti-lock brakes, traction control, or airbag, is malfunctioning, Grove Street Auto Repair can take care of that too. Staff members are continually attending classes and earning new certifications to keep up with the latest innovations; “they really have to be technicians, not just mechanics,” says Jean. Currently, the shop is in the process of rolling out a new system to provide every technician with a tablet. They’ll be able to pull up customers’ information, send them photos and diagrams of their car’s particular issue, and more, all from the shop floor.

Grove Street Auto Repair is notable for its commitment to community education as well. They frequently hold events at the shop to teach community groups about basic car maintenance, and they work with East Coast Driving School to do similar presentations for the driver’s ed classes. Attendees at these events get to learn all about what the different dashboard lights mean, and what to do if they get a flat tire or have a breakdown. “We try to teach them stuff you can avoid, [and] ways you can save money,” Patrick says. He also tells everyone, “Don’t ignore the check engine light!,” since that can result in serious damage to the car and a much bigger repair bill in the long run. For dealing with our downtown construction zone and pothole-filled roads, Patrick’s best tip is to keep rolling “if you see a big giant pothole come up. One of the worst things you can do is slam on your brakes, because… it locks the wheel in place.” By continuing to roll over the pothole, the impact is spread over a wider area of the tire and is less likely to damage your tire and wheel. “Drive slowly, be aware,” Jean adds, and she also emphasizes the importance of sticking to the recommended maintenance schedule. “All the fluids that need to be changed are integral to how the vehicle works. It’s so much cheaper to change the transmission fluid than to buy a new transmission because the fluid was really dirty.”

Teen Night at Grove Street - © Grove Street Auto Repair

Teen Night at Grove Street – courtesy of Grove Street Auto Repair

More than anything else, Grove Street Auto Repair emphasizes honesty. Although Jean says it’s “the worst part of my job!,” she’s not afraid to tell her customers when a car is no longer worth repairing. She knows some of their customers are “gun-shy” from bad experiences with other mechanics, so everyone works hard to build trust and confidence. For Grove Street Auto Repair, that’s a family value; their dad just turned 80, and he’s still in the shop at least four days a week, so Jean, Patrick, and Bob work hard to live up to his example. “We always say he raised us right,” says Jean. “We’ve learned the value of hard work and honesty and that’s really what we’ve built the business on.”

As Franklin natives, the Weidmans have seen the town grow and change dramatically over the last decades. “There’s a lot going on!” Jean says, about a recent night out downtown. Despite the town’s explosive growth, the close-knit sense of community has remained, and regular customers often end up becoming friends. “It’s the personal connection,” says Jean, who loves helping her customers in the shop and then seeing them around town at community events. Grove Street Auto Repair maintains an active role in the community, sponsoring Little League teams and the Santa Foundation, among others. “We like being able to give back to the same community we grew up in,” Patrick says, and Jean agrees. “We’re definitely committed to serving the community,” she says. “Our motto is ‘Your family depends on our family.’”

Grove Street Auto Repair is located at 79 Grove Street. Check out their website or like them on Facebook for more information!

Downtown Streetscape Update – October 27, 2015

From the office of Town Administrator Jeff Nutting, here’s the latest on the downtown construction:

  
“The curbing will be placed on East Central Street from Cottage Street to Summer Street and Sidewalks completed by the end of next week (weather permitting).

Paving will take place on Emmons Street, West Central Street and Summer Street at night later this week but most likely next week. The project should begin to wind down in November.

If anyone has a question please feel free to reach out to the DPW Director, Brutus Cantoreggi or Town Engineer, Michael Maglio at 508-553-5500 or Jeffrey Nutting, Town Administrator at 508-520-4949.”

Feed The Birds

As fall advances, lots of you may be thinking it’s time to start feeding your backyard birds again, but bird feeding isn’t just for the cold months. It’s a fun hobby all year round, and a wonderful way to appreciate the nature around you! If you have kids, it’s a great way to get them interested in science, too.

© Cornell Lab of Ornithology

© Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Here in New England, we have a huge variety of backyard birds, some of which you’ve probably never even noticed in your area before putting up a feeder. Naturally, different bird species prefer different types of food, so how does a new bird enthusiast decide what to serve?

The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology has the answer. At their Project FeederWatch site, they’ve put together a photographic list of nearly 100 common North American feeder birds and their favorite foods, which you can sort by geographic region, food type, and feeder type. This is not only an easy way to figure out what foods are popular with birds in your area, but also to help identify an unfamiliar bird. Check it out and experiment – you might find yourself with a new hobby for life.

Pumpkins in the Park – October 30

If you’re looking for a fun family activity for Halloween, why not check out the Franklin Art Center‘s upcoming Pumpkins in the Park event on Friday, October 30?

pumpkinsinpark

Held at the Franklin Sculpture Park on Panther Way, this is your chance to see a wide variety of pumpkin art and even make your own contribution! Just drop off your carved pumpkin between 12 and 2 PM (or 5 PM-6 PM if you can’t make the earlier drop-off) and the Franklin Art Center will take care of the lights for you. From 6 to 8 PM, enjoy a stroll around the park and vote for your favorites – prizes will be given for the most creative, scariest, and funniest pumpkins. Trick or treating, courtesy of the Franklin Recreation Department, will take place from 6 to 7 PM, and Medway’s Inspire Dance Academy will perform at 6:30. All in all, it’s bound to be a great night of family fun!

#VoteFranklin and get a treat!

Our town election is coming up on Tuesday, November 3…

votefranklin

We should all make the time to head over to the high school and vote, since this is our chance to have a voice in the government of our town! If you need additional incentive, though, Elizabeth’s Bagels is providing one. Just ask for your “I Voted” sticker after casting your ballot, and then bring it to Elizabeth’s on Election Day. You’ll get 20% off your order!

For more info on the candidates and issues, check out Franklin Matters or the #VoteFranklin Facebook page. This is an important day for our town, so whether or not you take advantage of Elizabeth’s offer, please make the time to vote anyway!

Taste of the Region – October 27

Looking for another way to support our area’s local culinary scene? Mark your calendars for the United Regional Chamber of Commerce‘s annual Taste of the Region food festival!

tasteoftheregion

On Tuesday, October 27 from 6 to 9 PM, Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School (147 Pond Street in Franklin) will host this always-fun event. Featuring restaurants and food establishments from all over our area, plus an exciting silent auction, the Taste of the Region will give you a chance to try out new and exciting flavors and maybe even find a new favorite. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door, and the event’s only a week away so don’t delay!

To purchase tickets in advance, call the Chamber of Commerce at (508) 222-0801. Keep an eye on the Taste of the Region’s Facebook page for more info and updates!

October Stroll today!

Enjoyed the downtown Strawberry Stroll in June? Head downtown today from 4 to 8 PM for a repeat! 

  
The Franklin Downtown Partnership and our fabulous local businesses are hosting the October Stroll today, with live entertainment, treats, and fun for everyone. Check out the Partnership’s website for more info on the participating businesses, the event sponsors, and the entertainment schedule. See you downtown!