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Shop Look: Peel's Pit Stop

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SHOP STATS: Peel's Pit Stop Location:  Celina, Ohio.  Operator: Barry Jr. and Janice Peel  Average Car Count: 61  Staff Size: 7  Shop Size: 2 bays  Ticket Average: $55

These walls talk.

Peel’s Pit Stop is a classic quick lube building. The stout, rectangular stone building has two bays, two pits and a small customer waiting area. It’s traditional automotive, right down to the service menu painted right onto the wall.

“I have a woman who does all the artwork,” says Peel Jr., who has run the shop since 2001. “That’s her handiwork, not mine. I just give her the ideas.”

Peel Jr. likes to say that the wall menu shows that there’s nothing basic about their oil change service. On the wall, customers will find the price of a basic oil change, as well as all the included services. It’s a way to cement the price of service for a while. Changing the paint isn’t as easy as changing a letterboard.

“It’s painted that way on the wall,” he says. “And it tells you exactly what you get for the money.”

Maintaining the Shop

When the Peels acquired the building in 2001, it had been foreclosed under previous ownership. It was mostly empty, but the facility did come with some equipment.

It was in pretty good shape, overall. Peel Jr. says that the biggest renovation to the building was to replace all of the flooring. That was a major project that required about two weeks of downtime.

“I've actually had the entire floor pulled out and repoured, because it had deteriorated over time,” Peel Jr. says.

The relatively worry-free shop comes from the Peels’ attention to detail. Even though the shop has a basic shape, the upkeep and maintenance is much more than that.

Going Green

One of the most unique parts of Peel’s Pit Stop is a greenhouse out back that has flowers and pumpkins, depending on the season. The Peels sell flowers and plants out of the greenhouse, but it occasionally serves as a beautiful customer waiting area.

In high school, Peel Jr. sold produce in an open-air market. He says the greenery sales got into his blood, and he couldn’t get away from it. When he built the greenhouse, he was selling straw for a bustling area agricultural community. The side project grew from there.

“I still sell straw, but I sell a lot more pumpkins and flowers than straw,” Peel Jr. says.

In the fall, the front lot of bursting with large pumpkins—the kind you have to haul away in a truck.

“We specialize in prize-winning pumpkins. Ones that are a couple hundred pounds or more,” Peel Jr. says.

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