ATASCADERO — Glenn’s Repair and Rental was founded in 1968 at the same spot on El Camino Real it calls home today.
Owner Geoff Auslen says it’s been a busy, although unpredictable year. The “proud fourth owner” of the establishment, he says he’s seen it through a fivefold increase in business over the last six years. The local Chamber of Commerce and Atascadero Mayor Tom O’Malley — a customer from Auslen’s former coffee shop in town — took notice as well, paying a visit in September to congratulate the business on receiving Honda’s Environmental Leadership Platinum Award. The award was given in recognition of reducing the dealership’s energy and water consumption by more than half, and is a rare honor nationwide.
A long-standing dealer of Honda Generators and a variety of other small engine power equipment. As Auslen notes, they’re still tied to gas and propane through their products. However, “there’s more battery power and environmentally friendly equipment coming out all the time,” he said, between filling up propane tanks for a recently retired local police commander getting set for a barbecue, ”But you know, there’s nobody left in the field except the three repair shops in town and we’re all good friends.”
The ability to recognize most folks who come in the door, even remembering what they’ve purchased, is a holdover from previous careers, but living on the Central Coast for four decades and attending Morro Bay High and Cal Poly gives him a distinct advantage in the knowing-everyone front.
“That’s customer service, they’re going to come back if you know who they are and take care of them,” he said, after tinkering with a part a customer brought in for a question, and sending them off with a duplicate of the manual and stock tool.
“The big box stores take a bite out of us but who’s going to fix all that stuff for them? I show people how things work, how to use it,” he said. That all takes time, he adds, while folks do buy propane and generators heading into winter, springtime is when his stock really moves, and when dusty old equipment breaks. Vineyards and wineries are big clients, with lots of water pumps and weed trimmers in need of service.
Nuggets of information to remember in a pinch, “we sell one of everything we rent, but we don’t rent everything we sell,” so presumably check what will be the most bang for your maintenance dollar, and “just don’t bother with propane tank exchanges, usually your tank isn’t completely empty and places like Home Depot don’t fill them completely either, you’re losing a lot.”
Glenn’s is open, and not going anywhere, Auslen assures, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. M-F and Sat 9 a.m. -1 p.m. at 5025 El Camino Real.