If your car has a case of the blues, Jake’s Auto Body in High Falls can give it the loving care it needs. Named “top shop” by Auto Body Repair News two years in a row, Jake’s is Ulster County’s own display of automotive artistry.
With newly purchased computerized frame equipment, Jake’s shop techs have the ability to restore cars to within 1/32 of their original specs, according to business owner Jake Hoover.
“This is critical for the car’s performance, panel fit, and alignment,” he said.
In addition to state-of-the-art repair, Jake’s values sustainability. The shop was one of the first in the Hudson Valley to use waterborne paint, which has a lower volatile organic substance (VOC) output and creates a cleaner work environment.
Hoover’s involvement in the auto business started when he moved with his family from California to Ulster County at age 16. Soon after, he found a job painting a house for a man in Phoenicia. When he showed up on a rainy Monday, however, the man asked him to help in an auto shop instead.
“It rained all week, and on the next Monday someone else was there painting,” Hoover said. “I worked in his shop for the next two years.”
Hoover refined his trade by completing an auto mechanics course at Hudson Valley Community College, and in August of 1990, he and his wife, Karen, bought a shop of their own. “After working for several businesses in this industry over the years, I came to believe that I could provide a better service and a better product,” said Hoover.
To help make this happen, Karen devoted her accounting, human resources, and operations chops solely to Jake’s Auto Body, allowing Jake to devote his full energy to what he does best. Three additions and 25 years later, the Hoovers’ corner shop is now 9,000 square feet.
But it takes more than a good corner to keep the shop going, and Jake said customer service comes first. “People are dealing with possibly their second largest investment, their home being the largest,” he said. “We want to listen to what they need and make sure we give it to them.”
Above all else, Hoover said the shop advocates for its customers. “We embrace the philosophy of being our customers’ representatives, working on their behalf to make sure the insurance companies agree to the repair that truly puts their car back to pre-accident condition, maintaining the value of their asset,” he said.
Though customers come first, Hoover said the other key to the shop’s success is the team behind it and how they are treated.
“We are so fortunate to have many long-term staff members who’ve been around 15 to 20 years and some very impressive newer staff,” he said. “Everyone does a piece of every job, whether it’s administration, parts-ordering, detailing, prepping, metal work, painting, or assembly.”
It’s this teamwork, said Hoover, which makes every employee take pride in the final product, leading to great results.
JAKE’S AUTO BODY
2302 LUCAS TURNPIKE, HIGH FALLS