Get to know Pearland business owner Ricky Cruz
I had a great time getting to know Enrique “Ricky” Cruz from Cruz N Carz along with his wife, Lisa.
Describe your business
Cruz N Carz is a general auto repair shop. We offer repairs and maintenance on all domestic and foreign cars, trucks, SUVs and vans.
What made you decide to open this business?
My father, Jose Cruz, opened JC Garage in 1980. I grew up working on cars by my father’s side in his auto repair shop. In 1996, I opened Cruz N Carz right next to my father’s shop. I opened my business because being an auto mechanic is in my blood.
What was it like when you first started?
When I opened Cruz N Carz over 21 years ago, I began with a small shop with only 2 bays. Today, after a lot of hard work, we have 2 locations with enough working space for well over a dozen cars”
What would your customers say they love most about your business?
I have loyal customers who have trusted me with their cars for many years because they know that they can rely on me to repair their car right the first time. I never try to up sell my customers with repairs or parts they do not need. My customers also like that I’m affordable. Because we have been in business for so long, our overhead expenses are low and we pass that savings on to our customers.
What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had working with a customer?
We have amazing customers. Many of them have become our good friends over the years. Customers stop by just to say hello. Sometimes they bring us a batch of their homemade guacamole or a souvenir from a trip they recently went on. Our customers are the most important part of our business.
What is something most people don’t know about the business?
My wife, Lisa and I bought an old rusted suit of armor on the spur of the moment about a year ago. We named him Rusty and displayed him outside the front of the shop. He quickly became the mascot of Cruz N Carz. People love to take photos with Rusty, our knight in not so shining armor. Rusty even has his own Facebook page with over 1,000 friends.
Do you have any exciting plans for the future that you want customers to know about?
The Texas heat can be unbearable at times. We are interested in opening a shop that specializes in automotive air conditioning and heating repair. Stay tuned.
Anything exciting going on that customers should know about?
Lisa has been a Registered Nurse for 24 years. She recently joined the staff of Cruz N Carz though and has brought a woman’s touch to the business. The other day, she saw a segment on NBC News about an auto repair shop in Pennsylvania with a nail salon in the waiting area so that women could get their nails done while waiting for their car to be tuned up. Lisa thinks it’s a brilliant idea and has a vision to bring this concept to Cruz N Carz. Stay tuned.
Where are your favorite places to go in the neighborhood?
Pearland has a great Parks & Recreation department. Lisa and I actually met at Southdown Park during one of the summer concerts in the park. We like to use the jogging trails at Centennial Park and on Magnolia Road. We also enjoy going to the Pearland Recreation Center & Natatorium several times a week.
Why do you think it’s important for people to shop local?
By shopping at small local businesses, more money is kept in the community. The tax dollars stay in Pearland to support our schools, roads, police and fire departments. This is the reason why Cruz N Carz is a member of the Pearland Chamber of Commerce. Cruz N Carz also supports and sponsors several local non-profit organizations such as Pearlanders Always There to Help – PATH, YellowUp, Pearland Girls Softball Association, the Pearland Rotary Club and local political candidates. So, by choosing Cruz N Carz for your auto repair needs, you are helping us to give to others.
Originally published at: Parkbench.com by Chris Lively, local Pearland realtor