Ziobron: Tours Eddie’s Auto Body Shop in East Haddam
September 11th, 2014
East Haddam Eddie’s Auto Body Shop with an Innovative Approach
by Alicia Mucha
East Haddam residents that stumble upon Eddie’s Auto Body may think they are entering an ordinary auto body shop. The functional surroundings and down-to-earth staff seem to be requirements for auto repair businesses. What people may not realize is that the owners, Eddie and Carol Lupinek, have a unique and innovative approach, they are utilizing technology that no other shop in the world has.
When Eddie decided it was time to update the shop’s cross-flow paint booth he began to research possibilities and available technology. He and Carol attended trade shows, read material from manufacturers, and investigated options used by other shops. No amount of research seemed to amount to a solution; Eddie could still not find exactly what he was looking for. Being the natural innovator that he is, he broke the mold and built his own.
Carol and Eddie speak about their new paint booth with an infectious enthusiasm befitting of the ingenuity and hard work it took to pull off this great invention. With the help of Sun-Spot, a company out of Canada, a $70,000 investment and a two week “vacation” which led to the two working tirelessly through the night – they built a new booth that would become the first medium wave infrared downdraft negative pressure booth. This complex booth not only sounds high-tech, it is; but that because it is also the safest, most cost and time effective booth ever built. After a recent feature in the industry magazine, Fender Bender, as well as Body Shop Business; the Lupineks are handling inquiries from shop owners and innovators from around the country to discuss their new paint booth.
The shop, started by Eddie’s father in 1956, is now able to service more cars than ever before while simultaneously saving money. The increase in efficiency and business has meant the Lupineks had to bring on three additional employees nearly doubling their staff, which has amounted to this investment being a positive for all beneficiaries: the business, environment and customers.
“I am thrilled to have such forward thinkers running their business here in town,” said State Representative and former Economic Development Coordinator for East Haddam, Melissa Ziobron. “Carol and Eddie are a successful business that is expanding and adding jobs. They are great people, and incredibly smart business owners. I give these two a lot of credit, not everyone can take an idea and actually make it a reality. Carol and Eddie have managed to do that and by being mindful to the environment while doing so.”
Carol and Eddie have used their most recent vacation to expand the wash bay and the customer waiting area, which should give the customers they serve a little more room to spread out. Moreover, a new front bay was installed which includes indoor and outdoor space for detailing along with an additional room for working separately with different metals that are more sensitive to contamination. This environmentally conscious business has also implemented a sophisticated air-handling system.
Although these new additions to Eddie’s Auto Body are terrific and will lead to greater profits and a more productive work day; the real accomplishment is Carol and Eddie’s ability to innovate and implement cutting edge technology. Their innovative approach has greatly reduced the use of chemicals, water and energy; while also increasing efficiency of operations and reducing the time spent in the shop for the customer.
Ziobron said she will continue looking and keep a watchful eye out for different State programs that support innovative small businesses such as Eddie’s Auto Body in East Haddam.