BURLINGTON - A longtime business in the Burlington area has new owners who are excited to be taking the reins and look forward to providing the highest quality of customer service for years to come.
Jesse and Melissa Fettig are the new owners of J&J Auto Body Repair, purchasing the business from Tony and Arleen Johnson, who owned it for close to 40 years. Jesse Fettig, formerly of Harvey, said Tony Johnson decided to retire after starting the business in Burlington and eventually moving it a couple miles west of the city.
"He started originally in the city of Burlington, and I believe he's been out here for at least 20, 25 years in this location," Fettig said.
Fettig said he's keeping the original name and phone number for the business to make the transition as seamless as possible for customers.
J&J Auto Body Repair specializes in collision repair and refinishing for all makes and models of vehicles.
"Anything from your minor door ding to major collision damage," Fettig said. "Parts replacement - head lights, door handles, things like that, door adjustments. I basically do it all. Anything that has to do with the body of the vehicle."
J&J Auto Body Repair is located 10 miles west of Minot, or two miles west of Burlington, at 11321 U.S. Highway 2 & 52, just off the south side of the highway. It is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the phone number is 839-6532. J&J Auto Body Repair offers free estimates and a lifetime warranty, accepts all insurance and is PPG certified.
Fettig can repair anything from major front-end damage to windows that refuse to roll up or down and loose trim panels. Those services include glass replacement and even paintless dent repair.
"I do have contacts for paintless dent repair," Fettig said. "If a person goes through a hail storm I've got some contacts and I can get a paintless dent repair team in here."
For the mechanically inclined, Fettig can also order parts like mirrors or headlights and let customers install it themselves. This ensures the customer gets the exact part they need and saves them the labor cost of having Fettig do the installation.
"I have a lot of sources that can find real affordable replacement parts," Fettig said. "I guess people are accustomed to that sort of service with Tony having a wrecking yard here. He had some of the parts on hand, where I've just been mostly ordering them. Most of the time you can get the stuff overnight."
Fettig said it's just more convenient and time efficient for him to order parts as they're needed than to try looking for them in the wrecking yard.
And speaking of that, Fettig said the wrecking yard will slowly but surely be going away. He plans to get all the cars moved out of there as quickly as he is able so the lot won't be cluttered and will have a more pleasing appearance.
While this is Fettig's first business, he has 15 years of experience in the collision repair industry. He graduated from the North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton with a degree in automotive collision and refinishing technology in 1998.
From there he worked in an auto body repair shop in Martin for seven years. Fettig said he enjoyed that experience because the slower pace of the rural setting allowed him to really get to know all his customers on a one-to-one basis, something he would like to emulate for his Burlington shop.
He eventually moved to Minot in 2005 and spent roughly eight years at Outback Autobody, which had a faster-paced, production shop type of setting.
In addition to his academic education and practical experience, Fettig has also completed the PPG certification program. PPG is a worldwide supplier of automotive finishes, and Fettig's certification means PPG itself offers a lifetime warranty on any paint job he does.
"They have a lifetime warranty on their product because I've been properly trained to use the product. So if there's any type of product failure they will back it up 100 percent," Fettig said. "And I also offer a lifetime warranty on all work, basically, for as long as they own the vehicle."
Fettig said owning his own body shop has always been a major goal of his, and he jumped at the opportunity to buy J&J Auto Body Repair when it presented itself. With 15 years of experience, he was confident in his ability to take the plunge and go it alone.
"I felt with the number of years I've been in this industry, I felt comfortable that I knew the ins and outs and all aspects of it, from the body work to the refinishing, painting part of it, to the office and estimating," Fettig said. "It takes a number of years to get comfortable with estimating in itself because just knowing what to look for and the hidden damage (can be difficult). You need to understand how these vehicles respond or react to a collision. There's so many things that are hidden that the average person doesn't see."
There was definitely a bit of nervousness to go along with the excitement of Fettig's first day as the owner Dec. 1, but he has quickly gotten comfortable in his new surroundings. Fettig said his first few weeks have been so busy that he hasn't gotten to go around Burlington and introduce himself to his new neighbors like he had originally intended. He said he will rectify that situation when he can, and noted the people he has spoken with already have proven to be incredibly friendly and appreciative that he is there to offer them a fast, local option when their car needs some body work done.
"The folks that I've spoken to, we've had a lot of positive responses, a lot of positive input as far as what we're doing here," Fettig said. "So far, so good."
"It's going to take some time to get established and to get people to be informed of the new ownership," he added. "It gives them options. If they can't get scheduled into their regular shop, and if they need something sooner rather than later, they've got an option to call me and see if I can take care of it for them."