Get to know Pearland business owner Ricky Cruz
I had a great time getting to know Enrique “Ricky” Cruz from Cruz N Carz Auto Repair along with his wife, Lisa.
Describe your business
Cruz N Carz is a general auto repair shop in Pearland. We offer repairs and maintenance on all domestic and foreign cars, trucks, SUVs and vans. We also do some classic car restorations.
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 24 years ago, I began with a very small shop with 1 bay door and just enough room for 2 cars. Today, after a lot of hard work, we own a 10,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility with 6 bay doors and room for dozens of 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. Sometimes, our customers are even Houston baseball legends who share their love for classic cars with us. 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 years ago. We named him Rusty and displayed him outside the front of the shop. He quickly became the unofficial mascot of Cruz N Carz. People loved to take photos with Rusty, our knight in not so shining armor. Rusty even had his own Facebook page with over 1,000 friends. Fame has it’s downfalls though. One day, Rusty was kidnapped and put up for ransom. We missed him terribly and we were worried for his safety, so we paid the ransom for his safe return. He’s displayed inside now where he’s safe from kidnappers.
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 was a Registered Nurse for 25 years. She joined the staff of Cruz N Carz in 2017 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 and local political candidates. So, by choosing Cruz N Carz for your auto repair needs, you are helping us to give to others.
Cruz N Carz
6700 Ella St.
Pearland, TX 77581
Located near Mykawa Rd. and Beltway 8
Originally published at: Parkbench.com by Chris Lively, local Pearland realtor