“To say that Team Ryan Automotive in Buford, Ga., feels like home is not a stretch. The office portion of the shop is run out of an actual house built in the 1940s. To add to the feeling, the shop was named after the family team of Dan Ryan and his wife, who run the business. The previous tenant, a commercial plumbing company, built the 4,500-square-foot shop space off the back of the house 10 years ago. When owner Dan Ryan saw the building, he knew that it was just what he had been looking for: a space where he could create a more positive outlook for the auto repair industry.”
- The office of Team Ryan Automotive is run out of the living and dining room of the house. “It’s very welcoming, it’s gotten a lot of positive response,” Ryan says. The lobby is home to a pair of big red handled pliers, which Ryan won at a raffle. A green wrench is also on display, which was a gift from a friend.
- Ryan and mechanic Joel Neely did a large portion of the work when they moved into the building themselves. Neely, affectionately referred to as a Jack-of-all-trades by Ryan, created the custom reception desk made of wormy maple wood.
- The lobby houses an old, coal-burning fireplace. It doesn’t work, but it adds a homey touch. On the mantle, among other things, is a pewter statue that was given to Ryan by GM when he achieved the title of World Class Technician.
- One of the biggest perks of being based out of a house? A full kitchen. Bottled water, coffee, and hot chocolate are available for customers. The employees are able to use the stove and microwave to heat up their meals.
- Taking suggestions from his wife, Ryan recognized the importance of making sure the shop is female friendly. This is why they made sure to emphasize the bathrooms. There are two, one for men and one for women. In the women’s room, hooks for purses and a nice mirror create an inviting atmosphere.
- Creating a pleasant environment spreads all the way to the shop floor. The floors of the shop were painted to reflect light and keep them looking clean. High efficiency T5 fluorescent lighting was added, keeping the work space bright.
- The shop walls are plywood, leftover from the previous owner. When they moved into the building, the plywood did not go up to the ceiling and open studs were visible. Ryan decided to finish the job by installing insulation plywood throughout the whole shop.
- Recycling is very important to Team Ryan Automotive. The shop uses a separate dumpster for all of the materials that are able to be recycled. The lobby also has recycling cans. “All of these things are geared at getting away from the negative impact the industry can have on the environment,” Ryan says.