Tonight is a special night because Curry’s Auto Service is up for a business ethics award! Curry’s Auto Service has been on the Inc. 5000 for the last 4 years in a row; we actually moved up 900 spots this year to 2,191. We’ve been on the Washington DC’s Fastest Growing Businesses for two years now and we were named #1 Auto Repair Shop in North America by Motor Age Magazine. So we’ve had a lot of prestigious awards, but this one is kind of special. It’s an ethics award, the National Capital Area Business Ethics Award. We were actually semifinalists for this award last year and we’re up again this year – we’re hoping to bring home some hardware! This one is special because generally speaking, automotive repair is considered a shadowy business right up there with buying a used car. But we’ve always believed in having honest, valued, trusting relationships with our customers. Being up for the Ethics Award is something we are very proud of, more than all the growth awards, or any other ... read more
A Dozen Ways to Keep Kids Safe in the Car By Judy Curry, CMO and Co-Founder, Curry’s Auto Service
Few parents forget the first time they put their infant into the car. In fact many hospitals won’t release a new mother unless she has an infant car seat for her baby. Clearly, installing car seats correctly is an essential part of being a good parent. But almost anyone who has installed a car seat knows it’s a challenge to get the seat in right. The good news is that help is available. At Curry’s Auto Service, we want to be part of the solution for parents with young children. Click here to read the entire article.
Wow, what does that mean? At Curry’s Auto Service we take our environmental responsibility very seriously. A byproduct of fixing cars is that we end up with tires, scrap metal, fuels, leads, and chemicals. We recycle just about everything we take out of a car, including tires, scrap metal, and even the oil. So when you bring your car in to Curry’s Auto Service, we actually recycle your old oil by using it in our used oil furnaces that heat up our shops in the winter time. We also recycle all metal and scrap metal parts like brake pads, rotors and oil filters. Lots of times we’ll when people bring their cars in for oil changes their oil leaks, and sometimes we even have spills in the shop – it happens. Back in the old days they used to take a hose and just rinse the oil off or wipe it up with a squeegee and dump it outside. That’s just what they did when I began in this business in the 70’s and 80’s. Today that doesn’t work. We use something called pig mat – an absorbent mat tha ... read more
Curry’s Auto Service was incorporated in 1997 and we opened for our first day of business on March 16th 1998. I started Curry’s Auto Service with $103,000 in debt spread out over 13 credit cards, a $200,000 equipment loan, and a $35,000 loan from my father-in-law. I quit my job making $106,000 a year and opened Curry’s Auto Service taking a 65% pay cut (I paid myself only $35,000 per year). Soon after, my wife Judy had our second child, Jenna, and she decided to quit her job and join the business too. We risked it all to start Curry’s Auto Service. We had all of our eggs in one basket and had the attitude that we COULDN’T fail. The first day we opened we did about $600 in business (we actually had a few customers!) and in our first year we did $800,000 in sales in 9 months. We were in a cramped, terrible location in the Sullyfield Industrial Park in Chantilly, Virginia far away from the main road and with only four parking spots. When you’re in the auto repair industry, having ... read more
Car-Seat Safety for Children From the Virginia Department of Health Few parents forget the first time they put their infant into the car. In fact many hospitals won’t release a new mother unless she has an infant car seat for her baby./p> Clearly, installing car seats correctly is an essential part of being a good parent. But, almost anyone who has installed a car seat knows it’s a challenge to get the seat in right. The good news is that help is available./p>At Curry’s Auto Service, we want to be part of the solution for parents with young children./p> Although we aren’t car-seat specialists, we are your partner in car safety. So we turn to the experts for advice on how to install a car seat, as well as other great tips on how to keep your kids safe in the car from the VA Dept. of Health. Remember: VA law states that all children under 18 years of age must be properly restrained in the car. The VA Highway Safety Office wants ... read more
Below is my response to Steven Pearlstein’s column in the September 29th edition of the Washington Post. For those of you who missed it, the article was an attack on successful American business owners in the form of a satire on self-absorbed “entitlement.” Here is a link to the full column, and a brief excerpt follows: I am a job creator: A manifesto for the entitled by Steven Pearlstein, Washington Post I am a private-equity fund manager. I am the misunderstood superhero of American capitalism, single-handedly creating wealth and prosperity despite all the obstacles put in my way by employees, government and the media. I am a job creator and I am entitled. Matt Curry’s Response: Mr. Pearlstein, this is perhaps the most misguided and idiotic article I’ve ever read. You have obviousl ... read more
In order to better serve the needs of our customers we need to ask the proper questions– and get candid answers from them. This process might seem unnecessary or time-consuming to the consumer, but the information is critical to delivering great service and we try to make the “interview” as quick and painless as possible. First of course, we need the year, make and model of the vehicle. We need to know the “trim” package, i.e., is it an LX, EX or SE model. Wheel size sometimes matters and a VIN number is almost always required to price and locate the correct parts. But there are less obvious questions that need to be asked, such as, “How long do you plan on keeping the car?” This is important because the quality and price of parts differs wildly. For example, there are probably 10 different brake pads and rotors available for every application. We basically grade these parts from “A” to “C” ranges, with “A” being the best and “C” being the kind that yo ... read more