Meet Your Merchant: Garage owners go extra mile for you and the environment |

Meet Your Merchant: Garage owners go extra mile for you and the environment

Courtesy Colleen MooreFounders Chris Fowler and Andrew Sanders in front of their newly opened garage, Avant Werks.

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; When you first pull up to Avant Werks in Truckee, it does not seem like your average garage.

Located in an office building near Truckee Tahoe Airport, the store front looks like it could be a doctorand#8217;s office more than a car repair shop. Stepping inside, customers are invited to wait in a comfy, child-friendly waiting area, complete with a flatscreen TV and leather couch, as well as sliding doors to cancel out the noise of the shop.

Who said getting your car fixed had to be a pain?

Avant Werks is a Volkswagen and Audi specialty repair shop and certified California Green Station. A new shop, Avant Werks opened this past March, but is already receiving recognition for its commitment to environmentally responsible practices.

Founders and owners Andrew and#8220;Drewand#8221; Sanders and Chris and#8220;Howdyand#8221; Fowler had a vision and shared passion for Audis when they began conceptualizing the shop.

and#8220;Drew and I talked for years about opening up a shop and having fun with it,and#8221; Fowler said. and#8220;We always talked about a shop that when you walked into it you donand#8217;t feel like youand#8217;re in an automotive repair shop. (We wanted) something that is really comfortable for people, and something that can be really unique and offer a highly specialized service, but at the same time be environmentally friendly.and#8221;

Fowler, using his background in real estate and customer service, manages the front of the house, the website and communications with clients. Sanders, who has 23 years of experience working with European cars, is a factory certified master Audi technician, as well as an ASE certified master automotive technician.

and#8220;Weand#8217;re youand#8217;re one-stop shop for everything Volkswagen and Audi,and#8221; Sanders explained. and#8220;We do detailing, repair, maintenance, upgrades, performance modifications and stereo. Anything a customer needs for their vehicle, we do here.and#8221;

The shop strives to be a dealer-alternative, offering services in Truckee, so owners donand#8217;t have to go to Reno to get their car worked on.

and#8220;We try to go the extra mile on every car,and#8221; Sanders added. and#8220;We try to wash and vacuum and fix the little things. Itand#8217;s how we operate.and#8221;

The crew at Avant Werks literally will go the extra mile for you with their concierge service, offering to pick up and deliver vehicles, as well as schedule remote appointments for whatever work may need to be done.

Another hugely important aspect Avant Werks focuses on is the environment, and taking steps to preserve the area where we live. The garage is the only certified California Green Station on the North Shore (South Lake Tahoeand#8217;s Crowand#8217;s Auto Care is the only other Tahoe-area CGS), meaning the shop has been recognized by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control for their steps toward minimizing or preventing pollution.

The shop features several environmentally safe tools, including an energy efficient lift, a microbial aqueous parts washer, a high efficiency air compressor, as well as recycling most shop materials, including metal, fluids (such as coolant and oil) and paper.

and#8220;There wasnand#8217;t really a shop that focused on the environment. We thought that was out of alignment with the overall vibe of Truckee,and#8221; Sanders explained. and#8220;Weand#8217;re full-time residents. Weand#8217;re raising families here. Weand#8217;re just as concerned about the environment as all the other Truckee residents.and#8221;

When Sanders and Fowler were starting up the shop, they chose to buy all environmentally conscious tools and equipment, and make a commitment to recycle as much as possible. The end result has not only been good for the environment, but will be good for the business as well. Sanders noted that the hybrid lift (the first of its kind in Northern California, he said) uses 40 percent less energy, and works twice as fast as a conventional lift.

With four employees now, Sanders and Fowler regularly find themselves at the shop 14 hours a day. While the shop is still young, the duo already has plans for expansion.

and#8220;Weand#8217;re definitely expanding this fall. Weand#8217;re going to at least be doubling our garage space (to deal with an increased workload),and#8221; Sanders explained.

While the shop is looking toward a bigger work space, Sanders and Fowler remain focused on their customers needs now and#8212; whether it be for a problem that needs fixing, a tune-up or detail job.

and#8220;Weand#8217;re not in this because thereand#8217;s money, weand#8217;re in it because we really believe in the product,and#8221; Sanders said.

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