Alan Doyle ran an auto repair shop across from the post office here for 15 years, sold it in 1997 and later worked in the oil field for 14 years.
When he saw the only oil change garage in the city sit vacant for three years, Doyle said he heard opportunity calling.
With the help of his kids, wife Tahirih and some friends, Doyle, 58, cleaned out the entire building, which he said was "pretty gross." The shop lacked plumbing and a working bathroom, and had crumbling clay sewer pipes he had to fix. Within three weeks, the store was refurbished and repainted inside and out.
But despite the do-over, he said his shop still lacked a waiting room, so Doyle said he leased an adjoining storefront with large windows and converted it into his garage's waiting room, replete with bathrooms, seating, magazines, free coffee, water and popcorn — requisite fare, he said, for while-you-wait auto garages.
"I'm tired of building businesses for other people when they just shut down. I said, 'I'm going to build my own. If I make it, I make it. If I fail, it's my own fault,'" he said. "Bloomfield does not have a lube shop. You can go out to (Murph's Complete Automotive Service east of town), but that's about it. I saw a need."
[Bloomfield Super Lube owner Alan Doyle talks during] Buy Photo
Bloomfield Super Lube owner Alan Doyle talks during an interview on Friday at his store at 524 W. Broadway Ave. in Bloomfield. (Photo: Jon Austria/The Daily Times)
Last month, Doyle and his wife opened the new venture, Bloomfield Super Lube, which sits on a sizable lot next door to Serious Texas Bar-B-Q where the town's main thoroughfare intersects with U.S. Highway 550.
"Whenever people are here, we tell them all, 'If you're happy, tell your friends. If you're not, tell me,'" Doyle said. "And every single customer who comes in, we send them a thank-you card for coming in. The support, so far, has been tremendous."
Any employee of the school district or the fire and police departments receives 5 percent off, he said.
Two of Doyle's daughters handle the office work alongside his niece. His wife, who works as a librarian at Central Primary School, comes in on Saturdays to help out, he said.
"It's a family business, through and through," he said. "It's a family affair."
[From left, Bloomfield Super Lube technicians Justin] Buy Photo
From left, Bloomfield Super Lube technicians Justin Krumwiede, Michael Kalamaja and Chris Jim work in the garage on Friday at Bloomfield Super Lube, 524 W. Broadway Ave. in Bloomfield. (Photo: Jon Austria/The Daily Times)
The garage primarily offers oil changes, brake repair or adjustment, radiator system flushing, transmission repair, air conditioning repair and other while-you-wait services. Customers who come in for five oil changes at $41.95 will receive the sixth oil change for only $1.95.
A practical man, Doyle said he decided to keep the name because he saw value in the existing signs across the front of the building painted in Bobcat blue.
Doyle said he still stands by word-of-mouth as the best way to attract business, especially in Bloomfield.
“Whenever people are here, we tell them all, 'If you're happy, tell your friends. If you're not, tell me.'”
Alan Doyle, owner of Bloomfield Super Lube
"Hometown service at hometown prices, that's our motto," he said.
And his business is also Navajo language-friendly, he said, thanks to one of his full-time mechanics who is fluent.
Randy Walker owns an oilfield company in Bloomfield and was pleased to hear that Doyle had reopened the oil-change garage.
"I think I was his third customer," Walker said of his recent visit to get his car's oil changed. "It’s a good thing for the community. (Doyle's) real quality people. He's a master mechanic who knows the ins and outs of cars, and he also takes care of fleet vehicles. If you go in there, even if you don’t know him personally, you feel like you have a friend."
This article originally appeared on the Farmington Daily Times.