Putting Prince Albert on the map of the automotive repair industry, the local Minute Muffler and Brake location received a prestigious industry award this month.
With the inaugural President’s Award under its belt, the business holds this year’s distinction as the top business out of more than 150 Minute Muffler and Brake and Speedy Auto Service locations across the nation.
“We work hard at it,” owner Mark Matlock said. “I think we’ve built the name as operators. To me, a name or a franchise is like a driver’s licence — (an) if you abuse it you lose it type of thing.”
The business has been in Prince Albert since 1975, when Ted and June Bulloch opened its initial six-bay configuration.
Matlock and wife Michele purchased the business in 1988.
“At that time I was pretty young,” Matlock said. “I was 26 years old, and we were at that part in our lives where we just wanted to branch out on our own.”
Since that time they’ve expanded the location by four stalls and constructed a warehouse building to the property’s southern edge along Second Avenue West.
This expansion was concurrent with other changes, which have included a broader range of services, with the business expanding to include steering and alignment service, as well as oil and fluids service and tires.
“In 1988 there was a muffler shop on almost every corner and over the years the business has changed and we’ve had to diversify,” Matlock explained.
“We kept diversifying and changing with the times — and we still are … You really need to try and stay current, and we give our staff modern equipment to work on so they can do their jobs professionally and properly.”
The installation of the warehouse has proven the most significant improvement. With additional parts on hand, they’ve been able to do a lot more without ordering parts in. This is important for a large trading community with a multitude of vehicles passing through every day.
“If we can handle them and get them in and out then that gets them home at night,” Matlock said.
Alluding to additional expansions in the future, Matlock said that the President’s Award is affirmation that they’re on the right path.
“I have a really, really good crew of people … and there are no plans to stop going forward.”