Albion Hills Auto Collision is busy with cars and community
Winter is fast approaching, with the chilly temperatures, lights and colours of the holidays and slick, snow-covered roads, resulting in vehicles bumping into each other, bending fenders and the like.
A sad reality, but a more positive reality is there are places like Albion Hills Auto Collision to set things right.
It’s a family-run operation, that has been prominent on the main drag in the heart of Palgrave for about nine years, fixing the problems that occur when automobiles meet in the wrong way.
The business was founded by Joe Barbaro and his son John. John’s wife Sandra said her father-in-law is no longer involved much in the business, but he still drops in.
She agreed the coming of winter means things are likely to get busy for the company. With about 4,500 square feet of floor space and a full-time staff of four (with part-time employees available as needed), they are ready.
Like most businesses, Mrs. Barbaro said there are the busy and slow times.
“It comes in peaks and valleys,” she observed. “You take the quiet moments to re-organize a bit.”
“It’s up and down,” she added. “One week, we’re crazy busy, and then it’s quiet.”
A lot of the business for Albion Hills Auto Collision, about 80 per cent, comes from insurance company referrals. “They’re keeping us pretty busy,” she said.
The company has a large geographic area from which to attract business, from Mayfield Road north to Alliston, as well as places like Schomberg and Tottenham.
“It’s enough to keep us busy,” she commented, adding they get quite a few drop-ins too.
They also get the chance to work on some high-end cars, like Porsches and Lamborghinis.
“We’ll do everything,” Mrs. Barbaro said.
The business has a number of things going for it, including its location on Regional Road 50, right in the hamlet.
“There’s always an advantage to being in people’s faces,” she observed.
Mrs. Barbaro said Albion Hills Auto Collision is a member of the Collision Solutions Network (CSN), which includes body shops all over the country.
“It helps out with the insurance companies,” she said. “It’s a status symbol too.”
“We are the most recommended shop in Caledon,” Mr. Barbaro commented, adding that with the CSN affiliation, insurance companies have the shop on their preferred list.
“We’re a very clean shop,” Mr. Barbaro said, adding that has to be the case when one is working on high-end cars. “Everything has to be clean. Everything has to have its own place.”
As well, Mr. Barbaro said he’s a member of the Peel Referral Association, representing his industry. His wife said they meet Tuesdays at the Angry Tomato in Bolton, providing various referrals to each other.
The business has several other outlets for community involvement.
Halloween offered an opportunity to dress the shop up for their annual haunted house and invite the local kids in. “The weather was a little on the sour side,” Mrs. Barbaro commented, but they still attracted about 300 children. Proceeds went to the Sick Kids Foundation.
“It’s just always been my charity of choice,” she said. “We hope we never need it.”
And every year there’s alot of activity for the holidays, as she said they run a Toy Drive in support of Caledon Community Services.
As well, Albion Hills Auto Collision helps out local sports, hosting fundraising car washes in support of the South Simcoe United Girls’ Soccer Team.
Written by Bill Rea