To celebrate their new look in style, the brothers held a ribbon cutting on Dec. 17 with free tacos, Mexican sweet bread, coffee, tea, not to mention two radio stations. Both KJUG 106.7 FM and Radio Campesina 95.3 FM were set up in the parking lot of First Choice Auto Body and Paint, which bares almost no resemblance to the former Paint and Body by Sonny.
“We really appreciate how welcoming everyone has been,” Meza said. “We couldn’t have asked for a better place to do business.”
The entire metal building was repainted with a new logo and signage. The parking lot was repaved and landscaped along the edges. They even remodeled the office with sealed concrete floors, leather seats, a help and cashier desk with leather bar stools and a couch made out of the chopped rear of a 1961 Cadillac.
“It’s a lot of money but we consider it a good investment,” Cabrillo said. “Exeter has been good to our family and we plan on being here a long time.”
And the changes aren’t just cosmetic. Cabrillo said business has been so good they have increased their crew to five employees, including a tow truck driver, two body preppers and a detailer. The customer service was evident as three locals gave impromptu testimonials about the service they had received after being involved in fender benders.
“The business has been here for 24 years so people know it,” Cabrillo said. “All we did was update the look to get the attention of people that don’t know we’re here.”
The brothers bought the business from longtime owner Sonny Lowry in August. Prior to that, the brothers worked at Quality Paint and Body in Visalia for three years, Jorge as the head painter and Luis as his assistant. The South Central Los Angeles natives had been looking to open their own business for about 18 months when they heard that Lowry was ready to retire.
First Choice Auto Body & Paint is located at 1100 Rocky Hill Dr. in Exeter. They offer paint, auto body and are continuing the tow service all started by Sonny Lowry. For more information, call the shop at 559-594-4723.
Thank you to The Foothills Sun-Gazette for permission to reprint this article.