I have been wanting to have a “public” conversation about Pat Cadam’s business for close to a decade. And now I finally get to on my radio show today.
Pat runs a shop called Pat’s Garage in San Francisco. He services Hondas, Acuras, Subarus and Hybrids. Any semblance of a traditional garage stops there.
His business is offbeat, vibrant, welcoming and delivers excellent technical and customer service. His mechanics are dreamers, poets, artists and writers, in addition to being experts in their technical field. And Pat is one of the most talented managers I have ever met, and I have met thousands of them in every business you can imagine.
I first met Pat as a customer, as I had to service my 10-year old second-hand Honda. As soon as I walked in, I knew something was different. I didn’t feel my instinctive reaction which was “I will wrestle you to the ground if you leer, demean my lack of car knowledge or try to trick me into getting service I don’t need.” Pat and his staff were welcoming, open and non-threatening.
And the best part? Really, really great coffee. Not the watered down Folgers crap that you find at most shops, but jet fuel grade, organic and flavorful coffee. Served in real mugs.
The more I got to know Pat, the more I was fascinated by his story of creating a totally unique and valuable business in a crowded niche. He once told me “My business is not really about cars, it is about people. When I focus on my customers and their needs and concerns, my business thrives.”
Pat started his career as a school teacher and quickly learned that a traditional academic environment was not for him. So he carefully researched a business to open, based on his interests and skills. He seems to have picked the right one, as he always seems to be enjoying himself, and his customers follow him loyally as if he were the Pied Piper.
His wisdom at running a business applies to every industry I can think of. So I do hope you will join us today for the show!
Date: Friday, May 25
Time: 11am-12pm Pacific Standard Time
Topic: Zen and the art of Honda maintenance
To listen: Click here
If you miss the live show, you can always listen later, through the link above. To download as an Mp3, you will have to click on the title of the show, which will bring up the “download as Mp3” option.