Shop View: Crown City Tire Auto Care
SHOP STATS: Crown City Tire Auto Care Locations: Pasadena, Calif. Operator: Thomas and Valerie Maimone Average Monthly Car Count: 288 Total Staff Size: 9 Shop Size: 5,600 square feet Number of Bays: 5 Total Annual Revenue: $1.6 million
Time Capsule Transformation
Thomas and Valerie Maimone may have been new to general repair when they bought Crown City Tire, but they came to the venture with a clear vision.
Both had backgrounds in collision and were determined to build a business that would change the all too common image of the dirty, outdated repair shop.
“The shop already had great bones and a good layout, but the owner hadn’t changed much in decades,” says Valerie. “Walking in felt like you were back in the ‘70s. There weren’t even computers.”
The couple wasted no time on a shop renovation, and hired a professional designer before they’d even closed on the space.
Behind the Scenes Branding
The Maimones and their designer took a scientific approach to the shop’s new look and branding.
A circular logo and accents like shop furniture were picked as subtle cues to build brand recognition. “It’s a link to the tires the shop was known for that she incorporated because psychologically it’s designed to stick with the customer and continue to form that connection,” says Valerie.
Blue was also strategically chosen as the shop’s brand color. “We learned blue is a serene color that’s actually associated with building feelings of trust so it was perfect for the welcoming, calming atmosphere we wanted to create,” says Thomas. “The guiding question was ‘How do we want people to feel when they walk in?’” The color’s been intentionally incorporated on everything from the shop’s lifts to its exterior landscaping and plant pots.
Best Face Forward
The Maimones sought a boutique look for a full lobby refresh.
“We don’t want to look like every other repair shop so we went outside the industry to imagine a look that would wow customers on the first impression,” says Thomas.
The shop’s new logo is featured front and center, while plants, bright walls, an abundance of natural light, imitation hardwood floors, and matching chairs and tables create a relaxed coffee shop vibe.
Plenty of iPhone chargers and a credenza coffee station featuring a built-in refrigerator offer customers key amenities, but the couple was careful to account for all five senses. “We make a point to always play good music in the background that appeals to multiple generations, and we use a specific scent in our air purifiers,” says Thomas. “When they walk in they’re not smelling rubber, and oil and chemicals. Everything they’re experiencing is telling them they’re in a modern, clean, comfortable environment where they’re going to be taken care of.”