Residents taking their car into Eddie’s Auto Body in East Haddam may think they are entering a run of the mill auto body shop. The functional surroundings and down-to-earth staff seem to be requirements for auto repair businesses. What people may not realize, is that the owners, Eddie and Carol Lupinek, are on the cutting edge of technology, doing things that no other shop in the world has done.
When Eddie decided it was time to update the shop’s cross-flow paint booth he began to research possibilities and available technology. He and Carol attended trade shows, read material from manufacturers, and investigated options used by other shops. No matter what Eddie looked at, he could not find exactly what he was looking for. So he thought outside the box and built his own.
Carol and Eddie speak about their new paint booth with a contagious excitement befitting of the ingenuity and hard work it took to pull it off. With the help of Sun-Spot, a company out of Canada, a $70,000 investment and a two week “vacation” that had the couple working through the night- they built a new booth that would become the first medium wave infrared downdraft negative pressure booth. If that sounds complicated, well, that’s because it is; but it is also the safest, most cost and time effective booth ever built. After a recent feature in the industry magazine, Fender Bender, the Lupineks are fielding calls from shop owners around the country to discuss their new paint booth.
The shop, started by Eddie’s father in 1956, is now able to service more cars than ever and save money doing so. But the business, environment and customers aren’t the only beneficiaries. The increase in efficiency and business has meant the Lupineks had to bring on three additional employees nearly doubling their staff.
“We are so very proud to have Carol and Eddie running their business here in town,” said State Representative and former Economic Development Coordinator for East Haddam, Melissa Ziobron. “It’s refreshing to see a business expanding and adding jobs. They are great people, and incredibly smart business owners. It takes a special person to look at everything the experts from around the world have created and say ‘I can do better’ and then go out and actually do better.”
Carol and Eddie are planning to use their next vacation to expand the wash bay and the customer waiting area, which should give the customers they serve a little more room to spread out. Ziobron said she is looking at different State programs, to see if there is some assistance available to help the Lupineks with their expansion.