December 9, 2012

New auto glass shop open


PLATTSBURGH — Two former employees look to carry on the Johnson’s Auto Glass and Trim Shop tradition.

Trevor Gillespie and Kevin Bushey are the owners of North Country Auto Glass and Trim. The former employees at Johnson’s Auto Glass opened the business Nov. 12 after that business closed near the end of October after 59 years in business.

Bushey said he worked at Johnson’s for 33 years, while Gillespie said he worked there for 25.

They are working to spread the word to former vendors and customers about their new business.

“We’ve had an overwhelming response,” Gillespie said. “We thank them for coming with us in this new venture.”

In addition to all types of auto glass, they can also offer repairs or replacement safety glass for heavy-duty equipment. North Country Auto Glass also specializes in sales and service of all aspects of convertible roofs.

“Our main thing is anything to do with automotive glass and convertibles for now. We do everything but house glass so far,” Bushey said, adding they hope to eventually offer that service as well.

There are three employees at the moment, the two owners and an office manager. They hope to bring two other former Johnson’s employees on board in the near future, Bushey said.

They decided to start their own company because the auto-glass business is what they have done their whole lives. Both said they didn’t want to start working for another auto-glass company.

“We have a certain way we want things done,” Bushey said.

Gillespie said they have arrangements with a number of service garages so their mobile units can do repairs and replacements in a controlled environment. While the urethane sealants used in the industry are rated for installations in temperatures as low as zero degrees, they prefer the quality that can be achieved in a controlled environment.

That can be critical when you realize the passenger-side airbag relies on the windshield’s structural integrity to ensure proper deployment.

“A safe installation is our utmost concern,” Gillespie said.

He said one of the recent changes in the industry is in the glass contained in retractable hard-top roofs. When that glass is replaced, it has to be recalibrated to ensure the roof retracts at the proper speed for the weight involved. 

After looking at possible locations in the area, they decided to lease the building at 64-B Hammond Lane, behind M&M Auto Body and Collision Center, owned by Michael Macey. He was using the 45-foot by 55-foot building for mechanical work and storage.

It has enough room for two service bays. Bushey and Gillespie did the renovations, including conversion of the south side of the building to a reception and waiting area.

North Country Auto and Glass can handle all of a customer’s insurance paperwork to alleviate one less hassle when repairs need to be made. Customers can wait while repairs are made, or take advantage of a courtesy ride to locations in the immediate Plattsburgh area.

North Country Auto Glass and Trim serves all of Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties, as well as part of St. Lawrence County. They just took delivery of their new mobile service van.

The partners thanked Dan and Dick Johnson for their support and encouragement.

“They gave us all the knowledge to open this place,” Gillespie said. “I hope we can be as successful.”

Gillespie said he is originally from Saranac and graduated from Saranac Central in 1987. He started at Johnson’s Auto Glass when he was 19 years old.

Bushey said he is originally from Beekmantown and now lives in West Chazy. He attended Beekmantown Central and also started at Johnson’s Auto Glass soon after.

North Country Auto Glass and Trim is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Emergency repairs are available.

Payment can be by cash, check and credit card. For more information, call 324-7200. Website construction is underway.

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