Autocare of Stone – Part 10
“That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” Those words spoken by Neil Armstrong back in 1969 as he took the first steps on the Moon reflect man’s desire for exploration and discovery.
As we continue our series, the Hidden Gems of Stone, you’ll discover that you don’t have to go to the moon (or Hanley and Stafford) to find what you may be looking for. By taking just a few small steps you may be pleasantly surprised at what you discover just off our High Street!
Chris Armstrong had been a teacher since 1989, teaching science, eventually becoming head of science at Holden Lane near Hanley and described his time in teaching “As the best and most enjoyable part of his career” and described how he “loved being in the class room every minute of the day.”
So what was it that made him take a ‘giant leap for a man and a small step for mankind’ – to play on the words of his namesake Neil Armstrong – and give up a secure career in teaching and make the risky decision to open a retail outlet in Stone? And not just any retail outlet, but a “Hidden Gem” in every sense of he word!
For Autocare is well and truly hidden from regular view, (especially on Tuesdays when the market stalls occupy the market square,) since you’ll find him tucked away behind the library adjacent to the Crown Hotel just off Crown Street. One advantage to his location of course, is that there is off road parking for his customers which is just as well, since most of what he has to offer is connected to cars anyway.
So, after 24 years in the education system, Chris decided it was time he fulfilled a developing desire to set up in business on his own.
He began to look for a business related to the motor trade and initially had in mind to start by having a stall at motor shows and the like but through a friend, he heard about this business in Stone so he decided to come and have a look.
“As soon as I walked in I had a feel for the place and immediately could see myself doing this since I know a lot about cars. But in spite being a bit of a “petrol head” and something of a VW enthusiast, I still had some reservations about committing to the venture. However, no matter what I did not to do it, everything seemed to fall into place and it took on a life of its own.”
Chris and his wife, Deb spent some time looking around Stone and getting a feel for the place and soon found they liked the town. “It felt like a nice friendly, easy going place,” he said so it wasn’t difficult making the final decision and take the plunge.
Chris commented how he prepared a detailed business plan working to ensure that whatever he stocked would compare favourably with larger retailers such as Halfords and make certain he offered a great personal service.
He takes care to ensure he has all the car parts you could need whether it is new alloys, lubricants and fluids or lights, he will make sure you can get exactly what you need. “We can get most parts to you within hours and any part within 24 hours. We will do our best to match non-internet prices.
Come and visit us and if you are unsure of what you need for your car I will do my best to help make sure you pay the right price for the right car part.”
Autocare also hire out and sell Thule roof boxes and bars too. Chris is the Thule main dealer and Thule partner in the area which means he can get the best prices on roof boxes and also roof racks. “We rent bars and boxes either as a package or separately. These are designed to fit virtually any type of car,” he said, “And as an independent member of the CAAR group we can offer you the widest range of car parts, accessories and leisure products available in the UK from one source.”
But that’s not all. If you’re looking for computer peripherals to help you in your everyday computing needs such as memory sticks, data sticks, laminators, keyboards, mice, speakers and other computer peripherals Chris has them all in stock! “We stock all makes of inkjet printer and stock Jet Tec high-quality compatibles.” Furthermore, if you’re unsure of what will be best for your computer, just pop in and ask Chris, he can help you choose just the right product for your needs.
As with any forward thinking retailer, his website features a Buy Online – Collect in Store service so if you need parts for your car or van simply enter your registration number or vehicle details on the website in our vehicle finder section and you’ll see the parts specific to your vehicle.
If you can’t find the part you need or simply want Chris to do it for you why not give him a call or visit the store. “I will often have the parts available from stock or I can get it for you very quickly … often the same day,” explained Chris,” And all orders placed on the online store are normally available for collection within one working day.”
Like all the Hidden gems in Stone, you don’t have to take a “giant leap” to discover what you want, just take a few small steps off the High Street at Market Square and you discover that “by using our store,” Chris says, “you are guaranteed great service, great prices and hassle-free shopping.”
Tel: 01785 819449
9am—5pm Monday to Saturday.