Peter and Brenda Vanboerdonk want to crown you.
Well, okay, not that type of crown.
But Peter and Brenda, Sault natives and owner/operators of the Sault’s Krown Rust Control outlet, will crown you with quality customer service and provide your vehicle with protection against the ravages of rust.
The couple has owned the outlet for five years, though Peter has been a Krown employee for 25 years, Brenda for 10.
Their customer base extends far and wide, beyond Sault Ste. Marie.
“We have customers who come from Moose Factory, southern Ontario and lots of customers from the States. They come here just because they like us,” chuckled Brenda.
And what’s not to like?
Though customers take their cars or trucks to Krown for rustproofing only once a year, they’ll be greeted with cheerful, first-name-basis familiarity by Peter and Brenda over the phone when making an appointment, or when walking into the office.
“We do a lot of advertising, but a lot of it is word of mouth. If we make one customer from Dubreuilville happy, word gets around and they all come down. If you tell your friends the work is good, they come,” Brenda said.
Rustproofing an average car or truck will take about an hour, while larger industrial vehicles take about two hours.
Peter and Brenda have some big clients, rustproofing dump trucks from industrial customers, City of Sault Ste. Marie vehicles, school buses, tour buses and military vehicles from the 49th Field Artillery Regiment (Krown, on a national scale, takes care of military vehicles from coast to coast).
“The deal is Adam (Kern, a Krown employee for the last six years) gets to drive them and gets to spray them too. He loves that big stuff,” Peter chuckled.
Krown not only rustproofs vehicles, but also functions as a full mechanical shop (but no bodywork).
“A lot of our Krown customers have also become mechanical customers...we do brakes, tyres, tuneups, just about anything that needs to be done,” Peter said.
“Krown’s rustproofing spray is environmentally friendly, with a life of about 14 months, so that’s why we call you back every 12 months.”
Krown has been located at 218 Industrial Park Cres. for the past 11 years, but Peter and Brenda are looking forward to the opening of their new location, currently nearing end of construction, at 831 McNabb St.
“That’s pretty exciting,” Peter said.
“It’s a 4,200 square foot building. It’s going to have state of the art spraying equipment, ventilation and filtration systems. It’s designed by Krown (head office) but we own the building. It’s going to be more efficient and larger, better for the customers with less of a wait time (the current location able to accomodate a limited number of vehicles per day).”
“Hopefully by the end of September we’ll be in there,” Brenda said.
An official grand opening ceremony for the new location will be held next summer.
The local Krown outlet employs six people, including the Vanboerdonks.
The best time of year to rustproof a vehicle is spring.
“In winter everything is frozen, it’s in the spring when the salt (laid down on city roads in winter) activates and corrosion happens, so you want to come in and see us, get the salt washed off, get your fresh rustproofing oil and allow as many of the warm months for the oil to travel,” Brenda explained.
“You’ve got to protect your investment, with the price of cars nowadays. Also, if you have corrosion rotting away your undercarriage and if you’re in an accident, the strength of it is gone, so it’s for your own safety,” Peter said.
“Rust affects your brake lines and your fuel lines that are exposed to the elements,” Brenda said.
“I take pride in knowing we’re a part of taking care of your vehicle. You’re bringing it to us and you’re trusting us with your investment...I’m kind of picky, and when I see your vehicle come out of the garage I want it to be clean and I want the look on your face to be ‘wow, that’s a nice job.’”
“It means a lot to me because when I’m at an intersection and I see a rusty vehicle that drives me crazy, it does, and I feel like getting out and telling them why they need to come and get it fixed before it gets worse,” Brenda said, Peter adding “it hurts” when he sees rusting cars.
“We’re in business, but we want to help people...you can’t stop rusting once it starts, but rustproofing will extend the life of a car. It’s not too late,” Brenda said.
Peter and Brenda, like all other Krown owners nationwide, also hold an annual charity car wash in June for the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada (Krown owners raised $70,000 across Canada for the foundation last year), and also support the Sault Major Hockey Association Midget AAA Soo Greyhounds.
“I love people,” said Brenda, who used to work as an educational assistant with both local school boards.
Same with Peter, who got his start working for mechanic Art Taylor in the 1980s (a familiar name to we who remember Lou’s Esso at Trunk Rd. and Wellington St.)
For more information on Krown, go to their Facebook page