Alfa Motors: A Neighborhood Story of Old Meets New
Apr 11, 2019 alfa,alfa motors,alfa romeo,ami,ami edri,auto,auto repair,automobile,automobile repairs,brooklyn,car repair,carroll gardens,cars,cobble hill,columbia waterfront,dealership,honest mechanic,local businesses,mechanics,neighborhood stories,red hook,renovations,sal
Alfa Motors has been on Hicks Street between Union and Sackett since 1982 and has gone through several big changes since that year, including new ownership, a new business model and (just last month!) a complete make over of the interior. All of this begins with a heartwarming story of two strangers, Ami and Sal, that meet and form an unlikely connection.
Ami Edri was always interested cars, especially Italian cars, but wasn’t a formally trained mechanic. He learned to tinker from his father, taking things apart and putting them back together again and was previously trained as an army radar technician and an electronic technician. Years later his focus was on photography and travelling as much as possible. One day that path took a turn. Ami’s friend owned an Alfa Romeo and was having trouble finding a mechanic who knew how to handle it. While driving down the BQE, Ami saw the sign “Alfa Motors” and decided to check it out. Something drew him to the place and he began hanging around. Owner, Sal, enjoyed his company and they became fast friends. He let Ami work on his car in the shop free of charge. That friendship would turn into a mentor/mentee and Ami soon starting fixing other cars under Sal’s guidance. Ami quickly became an expert and was giving his own input when others in the shop were stumped on something technical. Eventually Ami was working out front regularly. Years later Sal approached Ami, who he now considered like a son, and asked him if he wanted the shop. In 2003 Ami became the proud owner of Alfa Motors!
We spoke with Ami months ago about changes that were already made and others in the works. He was planning a big overhaul to clean the place up and make it more customer friendly, that included a lot of organization, new floors, and easier access to the office. Changes already made after Ami took over had to do with the business model. He realized that the neighborhood had evolved yet Alfa remained back in the old times. When Sal was in charge they would sell cheap parts to the customers who wanted to save money and Alfa was still giving the option of buying cheap parts, which would often times eventually break. Ami knew his customers needed quality. What’s the point of saving a little money in the beginning if you’ll be spending more down the road? In 2006 he stopped this practice. “No more cheap parts. Quality and reliability come first!” Since then he’s had happy customers. They still get original parts at a discounted rate but they are higher quality so when they fix something it stays fixed.
Ami Edri lives in Carroll Gardens with his family. His customers are also his neighbors. He sees them at the grocery store and around the community. He feels a responsibility towards his neighbors to give them great service. And he does! Most of Ami’s clientele are repeat customers! The latest renovation is the last step towards making this space reflect the changes in the area. Ami wants the appearance of the shop to match the mechanical skills that go into it. Since we spoke last month they have completely redone the place. It’s now organized and the floors are spotless. Ami wanted his shop to look like a dealership and he’s accomplished that standard! We’ve taken the before and after pics. Check them out below! As customers of Alfa Motors ourselves, we highly recommend Ami’s shop. He’s skilled, honest, and pretty charming too!