Your name and title: John Stacey and Joseph Graham, owners
Shop name: Stagra Automotive Limited
Location: We moved to Greely, Ontario 30 years ago
Number of employees: We currently have 6 employees. At one time, we had 27 employees with 3 locations in Ottawa including snow removal.
When did you open your shop? August 1972
Tell me an interesting fact about your shop: There are only two shops left in the City of Ottawa that have a full automotive machine shop as well as general repairs.
What, if anything, do you specialize in? We do full automotive repairs, Fleet work, custom hot rod and engine building.
Who is your main parts supplier? Hosie & Brown Auto Electric and E.R.I. Incorporated
What has been your biggest challenge(s) as a shop recently? Finding dedicated and reliable employees, parts supply shortages and dealing with COVID-19.
What’s your biggest success story in the last year? That, as an essential service, we have survived. We have some amazing customers who have navigated the waters of the door being closed and keeping everyone safe.
How has COVID-19 impacted your business? How have you adapted? Our sales are down about 30% from pre-COVID but still have work and were able to keep our employees. We had huge costs with sanitizing fogger, gloves, masks and cleaning supplies. We kept the front door locked and did the majority of conversations through calls, texts, emails and photos.
What kinds of digital technology are you currently using/implementing? We have three computers and three hand-held scanner devices. Online diagnostics from AllData.
If you could see one change in the aftermarket, what would it be? Better pricing. In some cases, OEM is now cheaper than aftermarket on a lot of parts. You spend much time comparing prices to stay competitive.
Name a part/product you and your team have been are particularly recently and why? We are currently in process of doing a restoration on a 1964 Chevrolet Corvette. New technology with a classic body. It is currently at the body shop and will be completed once it is returned to us.
Anything else you would like to share about your shop? Our slogan is “Your one stop automotive and light truck repair shop.” We are a one-of-a-kind shop in Ottawa now. We have learned that you cannot please everyone no matter how hard you try but we pride ourselves in being honest with our customers. We have second, third generation customers. From being in business for 50 years we have made some great friends.
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Great shop with excellent service, very responsive to cutomer needs. Nice to have a local shop/expertise to depend on rather than my car dealer.