By: Kelly Stuart Williams, MA
If you live in Carrollwood, Northdale, Lutz, or the surrounding area, you have probably met John Erb of John Erb’s Auto, Truck & RV Service Center. In addition to running a services center that has been named “Best of Northdale,” five times, John is legend in the community for his barbecue beef and chicken that he serves at local celebrations and festivals and brings to the OWLS (Older, Wiser, Lively Seniors) who meet monthly at the Northdale Civic Association at Northdale Park.
If it’s a community event in “Greater Carrollwood,” chances are that John Erb is meaningfully involved. In fact, care and community involvement are what characterizes his brand. When asked how he would describe his business, John said, “We like people, and we like helping people. You will never be left stranded to get to a business meeting or doctor appointment, or just want to go home. We want to take the stress and provide comfort to our customers.” John’s motto is, “It’s nice to be nice to people.”
A cursory review of Google Business at John Erb’s Services Center demonstrates their commitment to “being nice to people.” Dawn Ashkenaz wrote, “I’ve been going to John Erb since 2007! I trust them with my vehicle and feel valued as a loyal customer. Even after I moved across town, I still go out of my way to bring my car there. If you’re looking for a mechanic you can trust, John Erb’s is where you want to go.”
Of the 110+ Google Reviews online, the word “caring” is among the most common term used to describe John Erb’s Services Center. Other keywords include preventative, comprehensive, and full-service. Of the core services included are oil changes, brake services, A/C repair, transmission, engine repair, brakes, electrical repair, steering, differential, and wipers. They also provide auto and truck tires and a wash and detail booth. For those who need to move their belongings one-way or local, John provides Penske truck rentals. Accordingly, the John Erb “campus” is comprehensive indeed.
A past president of the Carrollwood Area Business Association (CABA), Diane Stoddart of LTC Financial Solutions said, “John builds relationships with people and with their cars. John knows my car and what makes it run great. And his team helps us plan for what to expect as our cars age, so we can plan and budget for what’s likely.”
Stoddart’s words are aligned wither work and John Erb’s unique focus on the person first but also on the life of the car. “Planful,” is a rare characterization of most automotive repair shops; however, it is the perfect “alignment” for customers like Diane Stoddart who help clients plan for the unexpected by providing insurance and long term care products. She added that John’s focus is on the “long term care of her automobiles.”
In addition to being caring, comprehensive, and preventative, customers choose John Erb’s Services Center because of its convenience. Open seven days a week, John Erb’s Services Center is conveniently located across the street from Gaither High School at 16133 North Dale Mabry.
As a child, John Erb began helping his Dad at his service station in Plainview, New York where he put air in tires when he was still in elementary school. By the time he was 12, John was already changing automobile tires. And at 21, he was a fully certified mechanic.
John characterizes his services center in Tampa as a “campus” that consists of a 5700 square foot main building and another 3400 square foot oil change facility that houses his “Oil Frog” oil change operation. It is located behind the main service center, but the “Oil Frog” tent is often seen at community events like the Northdale Family Fun Fest that John sponsors every year.
With all of his community involvement, John has developed a loyal, trained staff to include experienced, certified mechanics. John credits his staff for the continued success of his operations, and many members of his team have followed his lead, and they frequently volunteer in the community.
Reportedly, John wanted to pursue a career in the “caring” fields of either medicine or law enforcement. He chose, instead, to pursue the career his father taught him. However, few have brought “caring” to the field of automotive care and repair as has John Erb. In fact, some say John and his team have led the way to making “Greater Carrollwood” known as a caring community.
John has been a Silver Sponsor of the Egypt Shrine Circus for many years, and through Tampa Bay Business Builders, he supports The Children’s Home. Other charitable endeavors include raising money for schools in Haiti and the Humane Society,
John has 5 children, and 13 grandchildren. As the holidays approach, look for John to be playing Santa Claus throughout the community such as the CABA Holiday Tree Lighting in Northdale Park and at other events such as the Shriner’s Hospital, where he says he experiences great joy.
John and his “care team” invite you to visit John Erb’s Service Center at 16133 North Dale Mabry; call 813.908.3333 or go to www.JohnErbs.com.