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Shout it From the Rooftop

November 19, 2019 

Jonathan Ortiz 

I’ll come right out and say it: I have never been so proud to be a shop owner. I am very fortunate to have been blessed with a “privileged” life. I was given the opportunity to attend private school, get a college degree, and even continue on and obtain a Master’s Degree. Even though all of this opportunity was made possible by an auto repair shop, I remember feeling somewhat embarrassed in grade school when asked to stand up in class and share with my fellow classmates what my dad did for a living. At that private school, most of my classmates' parents were doctors and lawyers and, I, for some foolish reason or another, did not feel as proud as I should have in standing up and telling the class, “My dad is a mechanic.” I was just a little boy, but, geez, was I naive and mistaken. 

Every single opportunity I have been given in my life has been made possible by a family dream and an auto repair shop. The tendency of our white collar industry to look down on blue collar business is daunting, especially taking into consideration today’s technician shortage and other industry threats. 

Today, I find myself prouder than ever to be a part of this industry and who we are. I find us all to be some of the most talented entrepreneurs on the planet. This job requires us to become masters of accounting, marketing, people management, legal matters, and, on top of all that, keeping the cars that transport our loved ones in safe operating condition. If I could only go back in time, to when I was in grade school, and have that moment back to proudly stand up and yell to the world that my dad was not only a mechanic, he was also a lawyer, a doctor, an accountant, a psychologist, and his practice was located “at the shop.” 

Today, I have a five-year-old son of my own and I want him to feel prouder than ever about who we are. We are mechanics. We are auto repair shops. We keep your car safely on the road. 

As I have been given so much opportunity to learn about this industry, I look forward to giving back by sharing with you some of my experiences growing up in it. I am a second-generation owner. My parents immigrated from Colombia, South America, four decades ago in pursuit of The American Dream. 

That dream continues to grow. Our family’s shop, Foreign Affairs Auto,  is located in West Palm Beach, Fla. We are known for our speciality in European cars and our hospitality-based approach to creating exceptional customer service experiences. You may be familiar with our shop by our unique hand-crafted cappuccinos, our stand-out Instagram page, or even by our abstract logo, which we commissioned to represent who we are as an organization. 

I look forward to sharing with you some of my experiences in customer service, branding, marketing, social media, and even about the dynamics of working amongst family members in a family business. We live and work in a beautiful industry and this movement forward is exceptionally exciting. The amount of educational opportunities, available resources, and pure information that is readily accessible at our fingertips is incredible. I want to be a big part of this movement and am thrilled to see the endless limits of the best-run auto repair shops in the country. 

Posted by Allen L Phillips – not exactly Del Mar Auto’s story but it moved me to post it.  Del Mar Auto is a two generation business and we also take pride in our longevity (30 years) and in our commitment to our customers so they can rely on their cars and stay safe.  Thanks to Ratchet & Wrench Magazine.

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