When Matt Weber told his wife Laura he wanted to open his own automotive shop, she thought he was crazy. It took about a year, but she started to believe in his vision.
In Nov. 2001, the couple opened Clark’s Car Care. Matt Weber worked three jobs at the start just to make ends meet.
Now, 10 years later, the couple accepted the Small Business Award during a ceremony held Friday night.
Matt Weber said he was still smiling just thinking about being awarded the honor. The congratulations were coming in from customers and vendors.
“We are in the people business taking care of car problems,” Weber said.
Back when he was working as a mechanic at car dealerships in town, Weber said he noticed that if he moved to a different dealer, the client’s followed.
“They weren’t concerned about where they went for service, they were more concerned about getting good service,” Weber said.
Starting up in the location on 440 Industrial Drive, near the animal shelter and the Route 59 Metra Station, the warehouse space was not ready to be an automotive shop, so it took a lot of time and effort to get the space ready to be a proper mechanic’s shop, he said.
During his speech on Friday night Matt Weber gave a lot of the credit for the businesses success to the mechanics that work for him. On Wednesday, all of the employees were enjoying a special lunch to celebrate the award.
The couple believes integrity in business is key and run their business like any other, holding regular meetings with employees and reinvesting in the business and its employees. Weber said the company spends about $15,000 a year on continuing education.
The business services domestic and Japanese vehicles and offers almost any kind of mechanical service, including EPA emission service. Clients who wait at the business get to enjoy popcorn, coffee, snacks and massage chairs. The business also offers shuttle service for customers.
Clark’s Car Care was nominated for small business awards in the past, but never won the award. Laura Weber said she was in awe to be in the same caliber of businesses that Clark’s Car Care competed against and then to be named the winner was quite a triumph.
Though it took some time to convince her that opening the business was a good idea, Laura Weber said she knows it was the right choice.
“It was the best decision we could have made for our family and our kids,” she said.
The days are always different and Matt Weber never knows what the days will bring, but he doesn’t mind, he said. “I still love what I do.”