The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Money

April 28, 2013

Mountain State Small Engine Repair

With many repair shops out of business, couple saw a need

Mountain State Small Engine Repair (SER) is now open and ready for business, offering quality repair services at a competitive rate.

Located at 540 Harper Park Road in Beckley, owner and mechanic Jonathan Holsten said he can fix just about anything, including many makes and models of lawnmowers, tillers, weed-eaters, leaf blowers, generators and much more.

He and another mechanic, Charles Tolley, have already completed 70 repairs in the last month alone, and they have only found one item they were unable to repair.

“We’ve been doing this since we started waddling,” Holsten said.

He and his wife, Michele Koeniger-Holsten, said they got the idea to open the shop just a few months ago on New Year’s Eve.

They always celebrate Mi-chele’s dad’s birthday, which coincides with New Year’s Eve, with an evening of poker and watching the ball drop.

In conversation, he said he had a mower, but no one to fix it. Many area repair shops had gone out of business and the need was there.

The wheels started turning and after gathering some start-up money, the Holstens put their business plan into action.

“It seemed like every other place was going out of business, and I’ve been doing this for years.” Jonathan said. “So, I thought, ‘Why not make a living out of it?’”

After many upgrades to the former American Roofing Company building, including plumbing, electrical, and a lot of cleaning, Mountain State Small Engine Repair opened for business.

“Just give us an hour,” Jon-athan said. “If we can’t fix it, we won’t charge you.”

Repair rates are $65 per hour, but special rates can be negotiated for businesses with large quantities.

“We can get a lot done in an hour.”

Even if you’re unsure about whether or not your piece of equipment is worth repairing, Mountain State SER welcomes you to bring it in and find out, free of charge.

“We will tell customers whe-ther it’s worth their while to repair a product or not.”

As an example, Holsten said many newer model weed-eaters are almost disposable and it would be cheaper for a customer to simply buy a new one.

Higher quality mowers and steel products though, Holsten said, are very often worth a fix versus buying a new one.

“Give us a try. If we can fix it, we will. If we can’t, we won’t charge you.”

Mountain State SER also offers pickup and delivery services, and promises a short wait time for your repair.

Holsten said the longest wait time so far has been three or four days, and that was while they were waiting for a part to arrive.

Both Holsten and his wife were born and raised in the area and hope to make Mountain State SER a family-oriented business.

“We’re raising four kids, ages between 10 and 16,” Mi-chele said. “All of them have a part in the business right now.”

They said they hope the children will become more and more involved with the repair shop as they grow older.

Just as they hope to make their business a long-standing tradition, they want their customer satisfaction to hold the same standard.

“Customer base is key to building any business. Word of mouth is your best advertisement. We want to build a good service business and so far, all of our customers have been very satisfied.”

A small parts inventory is also available at Mountain State SER and most parts can be shipped overnight. Basic supplies like filters and line are kept in stock.

The repair shop is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and is closed Sundays. To reach Jonathan during nonbusiness hours, call 304-222-3937.

For more information, call 304-252-9542 or e-mail mountainstateser@frontier.com.

— E-mail:wholdren@register-herald.com

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