Tom Thornton, owner of Havoline Xpress Lube on SE Mill Plain, is celebrating his 20th year as a business owner! I had the pleasure of talking with Tom recently about how he got started in business and what makes his business unique. Interestingly enough, Tom has a background in engineering and sales (I can tell he is one smart guy!). Owning his own business appealed to him as he likes being the boss and getting to make his own business decisions.
There are many things that set Tom and his Xpress Lube apart from his competitors:
- 11 years ago he expanded his company to include auto repair services, which is unique and allows them to solve a customer’s problems in a one-stop-shop
- His business has a 4.6 Google rating, which is the highest in Clark county in his industry
- Tom calls his team the “A Team;” he couldn’t stop talking about his friendly, knowledgeable employees
- He has the best tools in the industry, which allows him to offer more to his customer base
- His shop is known for its honesty, which can be rare in his industry
Tom said if you treat your customers right and build trust, then the business becomes easy. His manager, Matthew, has been with him for six and a half years and really cares about their customers. He was a quick learner when he first started and is now one of the most knowledgeable on staff. He is a very genuine person and Tom couldn’t stop singing his praises. He spoke like that about all his employees, most of whom have been with him for a long time.
Tom describes his business as the neighborhood garage. While there is competition nearby, he prides himself on building relationships with his customers and treating them right. His employees are pleasant and experienced and set you at ease, knowing they will be honest with you and working hard to earn your trust. Their Google rating and many 5-star reviews speaks for itself.