He’s a small-town ‘automotive doctor’
SHARON — Art’s Automotive garage in Sharon is not just a commercial business. It is also a realized vision of a business genuinely helping people. Years ago, when a young Arthur Subklew graduated, at the top of his class from trade school in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., he worked in an automobile dealership service department. “One of the benefits of working for a dealer was all the free training they provided,”he recalled in an interview last week. “I took advantage of all the training courses that were offered.”Twenty years ago, Subklew and his wife, Maria, received a $7,000 income tax refund and decided to invest that money in their own business.Subklew said he always had the dream of being a small-town car doctor. “Just as small-town physicians heal people, I always wanted to take care of their cars.” Subklew used his income tax refund to open Art’s Automotive on West Main Street in Sharon in 1992. He thinks of his business as an emergency room for cars. “We focus on getting customers’ cars right back on the road when they have a problem.”In addition to repairing problems, Art’s Automotive also performs regular maintenance for all makes and models of cars and small trucks. He also provides roadside assistance and towing services.Art’s Automotive is a family business. Subklew’s son-in-law, Javier Reinoso, works as a mechanic and his daughter, Nicole, is the office manager.Subklew is a believer in giving back to the community where he earns his living. He is a member of the Sharon Volunteer Ambulance Squad. Next month he will graduate from paramedic school, which he has been attending on weekends, “My paramedic training will expand my ability to give back to the community.” And in that community, Subklew is known for his positive attitude and warm smile when he greets customers.“Javier and I truly enjoy meeting the people who come here,” Subklew said. “A large percentge of our customers are the children of people we served 15 to 20 years ago.”Subklew keeps Bubble Wrap, used to protect automotive parts shipped to the garage, to give to youngsters to play with. “Many of today’s customers were given Bubble Wrap to play with years ago and now I can give it to their young children as well.”Art’s Automotive is located at 7 West Main St. in a historic building. Subklew said it was built in the 1930s or earlier, and has been in continuous use since then as a gas station and/or automotive repair garage.“We try to keep the building the way it was,” he said. “We like the old-fashioned character and feeling of a small-town garage.”But he is aware of today’s customers’ needs, as well. Art’s Automotive offers customers waiting for their cars a free Internet connection to help minimize their downtime.Art’s Automotive is open Mondays to Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The telephone number is 860-364-2226.