DC Autocare Inc. opens in familiar spot

Mitch Burns, owner of DC Autocare Inc. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

Nelson Zandbergen
Nation Valley News

CHESTERVILLE — Mitch Burns opened the doors to his newly established auto repair shop here on the weekend — at a spot with a long history of fixing and selling cars.

And Burns is already tapping into that nascent momentum at DC Autocare Inc.

Even while the ambitious do-it-yourselfer rushed to upgrade floors and paint the interior over several days prior to launch, folks were stopping by the familiar downtown corner lot to inquire about vehicles. The 26 Queen St address still has a fresh history as the place where Colin Abbott sold and serviced many a car for more than three decades.

The new owner, who took possession from his predecessor on Oct. 20, is initially setting up as a full service garage but acknowledges his intent to “eventually sell some cars as well. There are still people walking in here looking for cars.”

A factory certified auto technician of 30 years, the Embrun resident worked half of that span at a Porsche and Audi dealer, then switched to Volkswagen for a dozen years before landing a position as VP of Parts and Service at Holden Tractor’s North American distribution headquarters in Embrun. “I had 16 people working for me,” he recalls, before rhyming off a lengthy list of duties he performed with his most recent employer.

By returning to a garage environment, he feels back in his element. And this time, it’s his.

In setting up the business with plans to hire his first employee soon, “I took a leap of faith, bought the building and went all in,” he explains, adding he’s smitten with his new neighbourhood. “We were fortunate to find this place. It seems like the stars aligned.”

He plans to make a “customer-first” philosophy the hallmark of the operation servicing all makes and models of vehicles. “If you don’t need it, I’m not going to try and sell it,” he emphasizes.

The initials in DC Autocare stand for the names of his young children, Dania and Carson.

While the sign and ownership have changed, visitors may still catch a glimpse of Abbott from time to time. The former owner has rented an office space in the building while continuing to tie up loose administrative ends from the old business. “It’s kind of neat to also have his experience here,” Burns observes.


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