ATHENS – Blanchard’s Garage is a fourth-generation family business famous for its customer service and dedication to community.
“We’re an old-fashioned garage where we like to treat people like family, not a number,” says Steve Blanchard, who is the front-line face of the business today. “We have loyal clients and staff going back generations.”
The business celebrated its 70th anniversary last June and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Blanchard’s recently installed all new gas pumps to better serve its strong Athens-area customer base. When temporarily closed for the upgrade, people really missed the service and could hardly wait for it to re-open.
“We heard from a lot of people that they missed us,” says Steve.
Steve’s father Dave, now 75, is still very involved in daily operations. He opens up 7 days a week and gets the gas pumps going. With more than 50 years in the business, he continues to enjoy providing services he feels are important to his neighbours.
“Things have changed drastically over the years but we remember what’s worked well for our customers in the past. We even go and pick up cars for our customers. We do the best we can – I guess that’s why we’re still around,” says Dave.
It was June 1949 when Dave’s father, George, purchased the property at the corner of County Road 42 and County Road 5 in Athens to open Blanchard’s Garage. Dave’s grandfather had previously run a garage on Perth Street in Brockville.
Today Blanchard’s continues to offer full auto repair services with three service bays and licenced technicians. Full service gas is also offered at the Gulf pumps out front. They sell auto and convenience products as well. The business has 7 full-time and 6 part-time employees.
Steve and Dave credit their entire team with their continued high service reviews, including a 4.8 out of 5 Google rating. Their theory is people come back to a place where they appreciate and trust the service. Positive personalities working on the front line are also very important, according to Steve and Dave. They are proud to say their business is a bit of a meeting place for locals.
Blanchard’s has also provided part-time jobs for hundreds of students, says Steve. His kids, Cody and Ashley, are among them.
“They go above and beyond for everyone,” adds Mayor Herb Scott, citing Blanchard’s contributions to both community events and youth employment. “I have talked to many students. They cherish the time they spent at Blanchard’s and are better for it,” says the Mayor.
“We do feel strongly about providing services and convenience to our customers and our community,” says Steve.
Blanchard’s Garage and Service Centre is located at 51 Main Street East, Athens. Give them a call at 613-924-2100 or email Steve.
Featured photo: The Blanchard’s Garage team, from left to right, Dave and Kevin Blanchard, auto technicians Peter Edwards, Daryl Sands and Brittany Kearney, Brian Harper, Steve Blanchard and Tina Lepage.