Taghon’s sells auto shop to Dave’s Garage

Photo: Pictured are new co-owner Craig Olvey (l) and Dennis Taghon (r). Photo by Norm Wheeler

From staff reports

Customers of Taghon’s Garage in Empire will start seeing changes to the facility very soon. Traverse City-based Dave’s Garage has purchased the long-standing car repair shop and began operations yesterday.

“I began taking a look at the long-term picture, and saw an opportunity I didn’t want to pass up,” said previous owner Dennis Taghon. When a long-time customer of his passed away a year and a half ago, Taghon realized he wasn’t getting any younger and he began to look for a buyer. He said Dave’s Garage showed immediate interest.

Taghon will remain on the job through the end of this week in order to fulfill commitments to customers. “People I’ve looked in the eye and said their job will get done, I want to honor that,” he said.

Taghon’s has been a family-run facility through three generations, for nearly 90 years. The shop has four technicians and serves an area that includes Leelanau and Benzie Counties.

“This is a repair shop with a great reputation of helping customers in a growing region of the state,” said Dave’s Garage co-owner Jamie Laferriere. “With our involvement in the community and desire to give outstanding customer service, we felt it was a great match.”

Laferriere says the staff will remain the same but they will work immediately to provide additional services. He says they will have tow services to help local people and tourists with jump-starts, lockouts and pick up vehicles with more serious mechanical problems. The new owners plan to offer loaner vehicles and improve appointment systems. First responders, school district teachers and employees will be eligible for ten-percent discounts on all services.

Remodeling of the facility is planned, that will include a reference to the historical significance of the Taghon family in Empire. Laferriere says to look for the shop to be involved in a wide array of community activities such as the M-22 Challenge, the Empire Hill Climb and activities that support area schools.

Dave’s Garage has been in operation for 25 years. It has been a top-10 finalist for the last two years in the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award. Craig Olvey co-owns the company with Laferriere. More information is available at DavesGarageEmpire.comor by calling them at (231) 326-5138. The shop is located at 12777 S. Benzonia Trail.