Dorothy Talan-Quaid: It’s all in the details
Remember when you bought your first car, new or used, from a dealership? The carpets looked brand new, the upholstery was pristine, the exterior had a shine that could blind you on a sunny day and it smelled fresh and clean, inside and out.
After a few months/weeks/years/kids/dogs/vacations, your ride had lost its looks, a victim of too many spilled coffees, muddy feet, tree sap, parking lot dings and fluctuating weather conditions.
So you break out the vacuum and the store-bought remedies, or perhaps you take your vehicle to a car wash, self-serve or full service, attempting to bring ole Betsy back to her original condition. Some of us take the plunge and drive to a shop for a bumper-to-bumper, no-holds barred, good-as-new treatment at the hands of an auto detailer. Or you can have a detailer come to you.
That’s where Matt Gervase, owner of Matt’s Mobile Auto Detail, steps in. Gervase, a 1995 Bear River High School graduate, runs a mobile service out of his truck, bringing the tools of his trade to your location, at your convenience. It’s a business that grew out of Gervase’s desire to improve his lot in life.
“I was working up at Donner Ski Ranch and decided I needed to do something else with my life besides running a ski lift,” Gervase said. “I just started coming up with ideas for a business and this seemed like a good one. I’ve been doing it now for 10 years.”
Gervase learned the auto detail business while employed at Pioneer Motors, when that business was located on East Main Street in Grass Valley. He then started out on his own, working out of his Honda Civic before buying the truck he uses now. Working out of his vehicle, rather than a shop, holds down the cost of doing business.
“Low overhead, pretty much no overhead, it’s just like insurance on the truck and just your products and stuff,” Gervase said. “I don’t have to pay rent on a space, I can do it (detailing) at someone else’s house.”
Having this service available to customers at their homes and businesses is a convenience that fills a niche in Nevada County, according to Gervase, who says his clients don’t have to drive to a shop, leave their vehicle there for hours and pick it up later. Customers can work at home or place of business while Gervase details their vehicles. “It’s nice that you can just sit in your house and watch TV while I finish it up,” he says
Detailing includes full cleaning of carpets, upholstery and surfaces inside and out of the vehicle, including the trunk, doorjambs and wheels and buffing out scratches in paint. It requires access to electricity and water at the service location; Gervase brings the rest, including a full range of cleansers and equipment. Most of his cleaning supplies are environmentally friendly, although he does have heavy-duty chemicals on hand for stubborn jobs, if necessary. “I try to stay with chemicals that aren’t bad for the earth because I’m pretty aware of being earth-conscious,” Gervase said.
Equipment he uses in detailing includes a power washer, a hot-water carpet extractor, buffers, brushes and towels Ð “everything that you need to clean every square inch of a car”.
Gervase charges $30 per hour (a two-man crew costs $40 per hour) and detailing jobs can take three hours or more to complete, depending upon the size of the vehicle, how dirty it is and what kind of an interior it has. His work is guaranteed. “If there’s anything that I missed, anything that you see in (your vehicle), I’ll come back out and fix it for you for free,” Gervase said.
Matt’s Mobile Auto Detail serves most of western Nevada County, including Lake of the Pines and Lake Wildwood. Unfortunately the high price of gasoline may force Gervase to begin charging an extra $5 for travel to those more distant locations, so he encourages customers to have the work done in town, if possible. A ten-percent discount is available to seniors, multiple vehicle jobs and for clients who refer new customers.
Delivering “quality, service and experience” to his customers is Gervase’s motto. He is available Saturday through Tuesday, by appointment. Call 530-263-4876 for more information.
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