Welches All Vehicle Repair Surprised by Monthly Honor
The Wells County Chamber of Commerce staff and Ambassadors surprised owner Joe Welches of Welches All Vehicle Repair as the December Member of the Month. Welches All Vehicle Repair is located at 127 South Main Street in Bluffton.
Welches grew up in Wells County working on a farm and then went to college at IPFW to be a music teacher. It was during that time he started working at Kmart Automotive and realized he enjoyed working on vehicles. Welches then started working at Firestone at Southtown Mall for seven years. “During the recession, I was working at NAPA for a year until my hours were cut; however, I gained a lot of experience and now we are a NAPA Car Care Center.”
After serving in the Army, Welches ended up in Georgia, where he met his wife. “I managed a Midas Muffler and Brake Shop for 10 years and then decided it was time to move back home to Indiana and open my own business,” explained Welches.
Before moving back to Indiana, Welches wrote a business plan that he wanted to open three shops every five years. Welches opened the first location January 19, 2000 in Ossian. Five years later, Bluffton was opened and in 2010, Welches opened the third location in Markle. “Within the next five years, Markle was not profitable, and I decided to close that location and just keep two. The old Bliss Hotel used to be located where our Bluffton location sits now, before burning in 1964. The space was cut in half and a Marathon Station was built. I was not interested in pumping gas, so the pumps were removed.”
Welches dotes that being a NAPA Automotive Repair Center is the best fit because they do a lot for the business owners. “We train and go to school to learn about all vehicle makes and models, not just Chrysler, GM, or Ford,” stated Welches. “We are learning about the electronics and programming for all types, including foreign and European models.”
“For the past 15 years I have been leading the NAPA Business Development Group mentoring other automotive repair center owners once a month about training, insurance, goals, and how to make a profit. That experience has been very rewarding helping other owners in the industry,” said Welches.
Recently there have been many updates done to the Bluffton location. “We have painted the entire building, new lighted signs are coming to be placed on the building and out by the road, which will be a nice attraction for the business,” explained Welches. “A building was added in the back of the shop to accommodate storage and parts that are needed. The outside lot was re-asphalted to make it nice for customers to come in and visit us. Inside our lobby our customers can enjoy beverages while they wait because we want to be welcoming and want to make sure they have a nice experience when they come and see us.”
Welches said they are appreciative of the community, and the support shown. “We have great customers. They are wonderful in taking care of our employees. Wells County is a great community we live in.”
“Surprising me as Member of the Month is such as great honor to be chosen,” said Welches. “This honor is a great surprise, and I never expected the recognition. It is such a pleasure to be part of the Chamber of Commerce.”
Pictured in the photo left to right:
Aaron Widner, Welches All Vehicle Repair
Jamie Foss, Welches All Vehicle Repair
Kody Kumfer, Forgotten Children Worldwide, Chamber Ambassador
Brady Singleton, Welches All Vehicle Repair
Keith Muhlenkamp, First Merchants Bank, Chamber Ambassador
Joe Welches, Welches All Vehicle Repair
Damon Anderson, Welches All Vehicle Repair
Nikole Robles, Welches All Vehicle Repair
Chase Blem, Welches All Vehicle Repair
Cyndee Fiechter, North Eastern Group Realty, Chamber Ambassador
Erin Prible, Executive Director, Wells County Chamber of Commerce
Stacey Duncan, WEG Commercial Motors, Chamber Ambassador