Gardiner is lucky to have a wide range of businesses, some locally owned and operated, others locally managed. One of the newest in Gardiner occupies what many people have fondly called Garage Mahal (with apologies to the monument in India) at Ireland Corners. STS has taken over the facility and, with a new staff and manager, it is showing what a garage that cares about its customers can do.
STS in Gardiner is run by an Assistant Manager and (since last June) a new Manager, Bernie Obry, a lifelong Gardiner resident who is delighted to be providing quality service for his neighbors and people he has known for years. He wants the place to be known as a hometown garage with the consistency and quality of service associated with a large company. As the STS website promises, “Your vehicle is ready when promised; Our work is done right the first time and; You pay only for work you authorized.” Bernie and the STS staff in Gardiner are committed to that promise.
The Gardiner business draws customers from New Paltz, Modena, Clintondale, Wallkill, Plattekill, Town of Newburgh, Pine Bush and Gardiner. Many of the customers are full-time residents, and a fair number have primary residences in New York City and other locations. Once you arrive in the lobby-like waiting room of STS, you can see why people feel comfortable waiting for their cars. It feels welcoming, with large couches, a fire place, a complete beverage set up and a child’s play area.
Two-thirds of STS’s business involves mechanical repair and regular maintenance and one-third involves sales, installation and repair of tires. A facility of 13,000 square feet is a challenge to run efficiently, but an advantage of the space is the ability to store over 1,200 tires and to house a huge parts department, including its own brand name lines of parts, Bosch, Quaker State, and others. The local garage is also supported by STS’s huge New Jersey warehouse, which contains a supply of 650,000 tires and more parts.
STS as a company is dedicated to training; each employee is encouraged to pursue learning cost-free and obtain certification on equipment and automotive principles and repair practices. Mechanics are classified into three categories and promoted as they learn more. The company also invests in state of the art equipment for its employees.
Employees report that they like working for STS in Gardiner since everyone takes pride in the work, commits to quality, and works like it is their own company—which it is—STS provides every employee with stock ownership, the amount based on each person’s position and length of service with the company. The company’s support for continuing education, and stock ownership, increases employee commitment to quality customer service. STS in Gardiner is also committed to community outreach and support. It has provided charitable organizations in the town of Gardiner—such as the Reformed Church, St Charles Borromeo, and the Gardiner Fire Department—with gift certificates for automotive service. In addition, it stands ready to provide any organization in the town of Gardiner with something for a charity auction, raffle, or other fund raising activity.
STS is open six days from 7 to 6 Monday through Friday and 7 to 5 on Saturday. Starting this spring, it will also open on Sundays.