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A year ago, two boyhood friends from Altamont took a chance and launched an auto repair business in Vandalia.
They’d worked together as mechanics in an Effingham shop several years ago, and decided to give it a shot with a business of their own.
Now, a year later, their business – Expert Service – is thriving.
“I’m amazed at the progress we’ve made in the first year,” said Troy Poe. “We had some goals for the business that we thought would take two or three years to reach, but we’re starting to achieve them already.”
He and his partner, Steve Stoldt, have built the business to the point that they’ve added a second lift, purchased more diagnostic equipment and recently hired Poe’s son, Nick, as an apprentice mechanic to keep up with the demand for their services. Helping in the office are Poe’s wife, Rhonda, and Stoldt’s mother, Sharon.
Though they do most mechanical work on cars and pickups, Poe focuses on heating and air-conditioning issues, and Stoldt handles motor and transmission projects. They’re now a certified NAPA service center.
So far, the only things they don’t do are alignment and exhaust work.
“It’s awesome the way we’ve been received,” Poe said. “Our customers have helped by recommending us to their friends, and we’ve tried to stay focused on our main goal of doing good work for a fair price.”
To say thanks to the community, Expert Service will hold a one-year anniversary open house on Thursday, July 25.
Expert Service is located at 1710A Hillsboro Road, just north of the intersection of Veterans Avenue and Ill. Route 185. The telephone number is 431-2236. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturdays by appointment.