CALEDONIA – Argyle Street has been home to Caledonia Auto Supply for 26 years. In 1989, owner Rick Morris, and his wife Leah, began supplying Caledonia residents with quality auto parts.
Morris tells us that a lot has changed over the years, and he has seen a lot of businesses come and go from small mom-and-pops to big chains like Canadian Tire. Morris has moved the location of his shop four times over the last 26 years, but his business has always stayed on Argyle Street.
He’s moved to increase the capacity of his warehouse and shop, to better serve his loyal customers. For those of us who have had to move numerous times, we know what a tedious and exhausting task that can be. Sitting at 269 Argyle Street, Morris says, “I’m not moving again. It was hard keeping track of inventory, moving everything, still staying open and offering the same great service to my customers.”
We asked him to think back to 1989, and what inspired him to get into this area of work. Morris has always loved cars and the automotive industry.
“I wanted to step out and do what I always wanted to do, but under my own name.”
As for his favourite part of the job: “There are different aspects of the business. There is the joy in talking to and seeing regular local customers or the challenge of finding the right parts for a vehicle you never serviced before. Every day is different. Another joy has been seeing kids come in with their parents, and then seeing them come back years later as independent drivers.”
Morris was also very proud of his warehouse, noting that he is part of the Auto Value Group, a North-American group that holds each member responsible for dealing only in quality parts, meaning there is also a warrantee and a guaranteed best pricing policy.
“Auto Value carries a North America warranty and offers me the best pricing so I can be very competitive. With quality parts from Caledonia Auto Supply, you know you can feel confident behind the wheel,” says Morris.
Many of us carry precious cargo, like our children or essential items for our livelihood, and a group like Auto Value that holds members to high standards is a sign of quality assurance.
Since being in business, Rick Morris has also done his fair share of community building and support work, though his humbleness made it almost difficult for him to admit. The Caledonia Auto Supply supports youth participating in sports, and they have sponsored a number of hockey and lacrosse teams in Caledonia and on Six Nations Territory.
They have also sponsored the rodeo that comes through Caledonia, which in turn funds the Special Olympics. Caledonia Auto Supply has also sponsored the demolition derby and Canada Day celebration in Caledonia.
Morris hosts a customer appreciation community BBQ every year, usually in May or June, serving up hot dogs and hamburgers free of charge for the 150 or so people who gather. At this community BBQ, Morris encourages people to donate a canned item, as this fun community BBQ is also a canned food drive event.
Caledonia Auto Supply is open early and closes late, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday to Friday, and from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Status cards are welcomed and accepted!
Morris says: “It’s been a real ride serving the people in this area and hopefully I will continue to do so for many more years to come.”