Ted Kabus recalls 20 years of service
By Jennie Oemig
Located on Diagonal Street in Independence, Kabus Auto Body & Recovery recently celebrated its 20th year of business.
On Aug. 6 and 7, Kabus held a 20th Anniversary open house and customer appreciation event, complete with tours of the facility, food, door prizes and demonstrations, for the public to enjoy.
And it’s because of the loyalty of those patrons that owner Ted Kabus has been in business for two decades.
“It may seem small, but to me, true success is when the customer comes to pick up their car and they are happy,” Kabus said. “We all take things for granted ... even a simple thing of having a vehicle that works. After someone has been without their car, whether it was from an accident or a breakdown, the reaction when they see the vehicle back in its original condition is a reward.”
And over the years, Kabus said he’s learned that being a proprietor takes not only a great deal of work, but also dedication.
“Owning your own business is not easy,” he pointed out. “Every day is a challenge because you cannot predict the future. I have employees with families now that depend on the success of this business and that is a lot of pressure. But, we have established a strong reputation over the past 20 years that people know and trust, and keep coming back.”
Looking back on how it all got started, Kabus said he had an inkling that he would own his own shop one day.
“I have worked for other companies before. I used my skills and experience to benefit their operation, but knew that this was not going to satisfy me as a career,” he noted, explaining that he had always enjoyed the challenges that came with working on vehicles. “I knew I had the drive and skills to take it to the next level and create my own business. I wanted to start a business I could be proud of.”
About 20 years ago, that vision started to become a reality.
“In August 1990, I started out repairing and repainting vehicles out of a two-bay garage next to my house,” he recalled. “I was a one man shop. Because I was not able to manually move cars around by myself, I needed to figure out a way to move these undriveable vehicles around.”
With that, Kabus added another facet to his vehicle service repertoire.
“I decided a tow truck would help move things around the garage,” he said. “It was pretty primitive, but, in two days, I built my first tow truck ... and just like that, I was in the towing business.”
With the intention of furthering the growth of the business, Kabus said he adapted to the demands of his customers.
“We saw, over time, what the public was looking for in services,” he said. “Incorporating towing into the business shifted more of a demand for collision type of work, so I focused more on the collision repair and towing. We were able to expand our towing services over time, adding a flatbed and then heavy-duty tow trucks.”
That adaptability paid off once again when it came to other areas of vehicle maintenance and appearance.
“We also found a demand for cleaning and detailing, as well as vinyl lettering,” he said. “Whenever a customer has a need, we do everything we can to make it happen.”
As for the future of the business, Kabus said that, now that he’s surpassed the 20-year milestone, he hopes the shop keeps going for another 25 years.
“It is exciting to see the ever-changing technology in today’s vehicles and see what is yet to come in the automotive industry,” he said, assuring that customer satisfaction will remain a high priority. “We will continue to provide top quality services to our customers.”