Shop Profile - Collision Repair

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Shop profile: Texas duo’s 3 shops on ambitious growth path

Friday, August 19, 2016 - 07:00
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For Mike Matejek and Ronnie Johnston, the future’s so bright they have to…build awnings.

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Set on five acres with easy access just a half-mile north of Interstate 290 in Cypress, Texas, First Choice Collision-Cypress “is our first shop to design and build ourselves, which enables us to maximize the use of the property and to customize the dimensions of the building to fit our needs,” Johnston points out, citing the newly constructed 14,000-sq.ft. metallic structure equipped with 24 body work bays, “and we have plans to build another building for our mechanic shop after we catch our breath.”

“We opened our first shop 25 years ago with more desire to succeed than we had money,” Johnston recounts. Called Westside Collision, this Houston location was originally comprised of 14 bays in an aging 7,500-sq.ft. metallic building while office functions were conducted in a separate freestanding wooden building. It was not the most luxurious nor efficient setup, but the two friends persevered in pursuing their ownership aspirations.

Working under a one-year lease with an option to buy for a set price within that timeframe, the pair made the purchase as the anniversary arrived. “Initially Mike and I wore every hat from estimator to body and paint until we grew enough in sales to justify hiring technicians and office help,” he says.

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