For Joe DiMola, owner of Denver Tire and Auto and a New Jersey native, deciding to move to North Carolina was pretty much a no brainer.
â€œThe cost of living up there was crazy, the weather wasnâ€™t the best and I love NASCAR,â€ said DiMola.
DiMola managed an automotive shop in New Jersey for 25 years before a trip down south in the mid 1990s changed everything. He came down to tour the race shops and discovered he loved Lake Norman, Charlotte and the people.
In 2003, he sold his house and moved to Denver with his wife JoAnn and their three kids, Danny, Kimberly and Joseph.
For six months, DiMola worked as a district manager for Jiffy Lube, but he knew he wanted more.
â€œI knew I had to buy my own business for myself,â€ DiMola said. â€œI wanted my own business.â€
He became an independent driver, buying a bread route and delivering Arnold, Thomasâ€™ and Entenmanns products. But DiMola had a bigger dream, and after a year and a half, he sold the bread route to pursue it.
Denver Tire and Auto, located on NC 16 north, was an existing business that, according to DiMola had received mixed reviews from the community. Since opening in January of 2006, DiMola has done a lot to change that.
â€œIâ€™m getting to the point where everyone who walks out the door is satisfied,â€ said DiMola.
Customer service is DiMolaâ€™s number one priority. Signs reading â€œSatisfaction Guaranteedâ€ are displayed prominently at the door and front desk. DiMola even makes his cell phone number available to customers so they can reach him anytime, anywhere.
In striving to provide excellent customer service, DiMola has recently added a pick-up and delivery roadside service for his customers. Anyone within a five mile radius can have someone from Denver Tire and Auto come to them.
The roadside service has proven very popular so far. DiMola says they once did five such jobs in one day.
DiMola will also collect payments from customers at their places of work, meaning they never even have to come into the shop.
â€œItâ€™s all about the service,â€ DiMola said. â€œTo build a business is not rocket science. Youâ€™ve got to give people service beyond their expectations.â€
Considering Denver Tire and Auto is the only shop in the area that offers roadside pick-up, it seems DiMola is going above and beyond for his customers.
In addition to providing great service for individuals, Denver Tire and Auto also has a special relationship with some local race teams and other commercial customers.
â€œOur commercial accounts have been very good to Denver Tire,â€ said DiMola.
The shopâ€™s employees, who have strong ties to the area, are another reason Denver Tire and Auto is so successful.
Joe Bradshaw, known as JoJo, has worked there for the past two years and is also a volunteer with the Pumpkin Center Volunteer Fire Department. A native of Pumpkin Center, Bradshaw has high praise for his employer.
â€œHeâ€™s the best boss Iâ€™ve ever worked with,â€ Bradshaw said.
David Camby, a Denver native who has also worked at the shop for two years, says DiMolaâ€™s focus on customer service is undeniable.
â€œHe cares about the customers,â€ said Camby. â€œIâ€™ve seen him go out of his way if someone was upset about something to make sure everything is okay.â€
Although DiMola and his family have only lived in the area for a few years, his affection for the people of Denver is obvious.
It shines through in how well he treats those who work for him, as well as the customers who have made Denver Tire and Auto such a success.
â€œIâ€™ve never had a bad experience with a customer,â€ DiMola said.
Denver Tire and Auto is located at the corner of N.C. 16 and Denver Drive.
Hours of operation are 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Saturdays. Denver Tire and Auto is closed on Sundays.
For more information, call (704) 483-5111.
by Allyson Levine