BATAVIA — Dan Kemp loves dirty cars.(By Joanne beck)
That's true only because he doesn't plan to keep them that way for long.
Kemp is co-owner of Center of Attention Auto Spa, which opened Oct. 1 with its mobile service and will have a grand opening Nov. 1 for the site at 8314 Park Rd.
"Someone will call and say 'my car is really bad.' I love those cars," Kemp said Tuesday at the spa. "I love satisfying customers. I like it when someone brings me a real mess. When they leave they'll know they got what they paid for. We're not going to let a customer leave here unhappy."
Kemp, 31, talks about
the way some estheticians talk about skin. It's about proper care and upkeep, which includes products ("a
") that will keep one's prized possession in good condition, he said. The only difference between a beauty salon and the auto spa is the object getting groomed.
"The way the economy is, you're going to want to take care of what you have," he said. "Just having it properly cleaned and maintained is going to make it better."
And he's not just talking cosmetic improvements. The certified auto recondition expert intends to mend superficial scratches, remove oxidation and fall-out (road salt, pollution, grime, iron particles from the air), protect the vehicle from the sun and bad weather with a "professional grade" wax or paint sealant, thoroughly clean the vehicle inside and out and polish it to a "showroom shine." The amount of work depends on the package, which runs from a three-month protection Gold up to a 12-month protection Diamond.
The spa, which has gotten fresh coats of paint in bright red and black signature colors, also offers more regular maintenance services. Those include the Bronze or
Silver car wash
; and more detailed work, including headlight restoration, leather cleaning and conditioning, engine cleaning,
and upholstery protection.
For anyone questioning why headlights should be restored, Kemp is quick to explain. The spa will take "your yellowed, scratched or pitted headlight lens" through a restoration process to bring it back to new. The process gives greater night visibility and a better appearance to the vehicle overall, he said.
He disagreed with being labeled a good salesman, since his goal isn't just to sell. Instead, Kemp wants to educate people about what he can do for an auto or motorcycle. That means explaining the services and how they'll affect and improve one's vehicle, he said.
A city native and 1996 graduate of
Batavia High School
, Kemp has thought of opening his own business for awhile. He worked for area
for five years before deciding he wanted to hone his skills. He attended a reconditioning school in
, where he received a California State Education Department certification, he said.
He knows what he wants to offer customers: A neat and professional staff, comfortable atmosphere and high-quality work. That won't change if customers choose the mobile service, he said. Even the price stays the same as long as the customer is in
"Every service we do in-house we can do mobile, at any location," he said. "We do our own
and use our own water and power."
Kemp chose to go to school in California because of its high environmental standards, he said. He learned the importance of not letting soapy water go into a sewer system. That's why Kemp will "reclaim" all of the water used at a person's home or business. He uses a reclamation mat to put underneath the vehicle, and a pump sucks up all of the used water and sends it to a container in the mobile unit. He spent considerable time and an undisclosed amount of money on the unit, which includes a
, generator, microfiber towels, cleaning tools and a white tent to put up over a vehicle to protect the wax or sealant from the sun.
No matter if it's at Kemp's place or yours, he guarantees a job well done.
"We make sure, with every protection package, that we get every nook and cranny," he said. "The best advertising is word of mouth. If we don't do a good job, our doors won't stay open for long. We just want the public to know we're here for them and we're very affordable. We want to offer something that has been 100 percent accomplished, and that's customer service."
Kemp has two daughters, Teiona, 12, and 8-year-old Alyssa. He owns the business with his wife Christina, and they plan to hire more staff as the business grows.
There will be daily specials and hours of
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays
through Fridays and
8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays
. Special appointments can be made upon request.
For more information, call
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Batavia Daily News
2 Apollo Drive
Batavia, NY 14020
(585) 343-8000 Ext. 2135