Sept. 5, 2018 — In Wyoming’s Jackson Hole valley, the name Shervin rings in concord with auto care.
“People would see the name and say, ‘Oh, Shervin’s. Trustworthy. Nice. Dependable,’” said Megan Shervin. “And not just for cars, but for the community.”
Megan and her husband AJ own Shervin’s Tire & Automotive, a Florence family business eager to live up to a name and reputation that started nearly 1,000 miles away.
“I feel like we’re a one-stop shop,” said AJ. “We can do anything from tires, to lube services, transmissions, engines and full diagnostics.”
While Megan handles bookkeeping and general store tasks, AJ commits himself to auto work, worker oversight and maintaining his namesake’s standards. Those standards include applying a diverse experience pool to the job. It’s this diversity, AJ says, which sets them apart even from dealerships, which may be too narrowly specialized.
“I’ve worked in independent shops that have worked on everything,” AJ said. “All makes, all models. So I’ve had experience with numerous vehicles. . . We’re not specialized in only one thing.”
With six bays and a full staff that is experienced and friendly, Shervin’s also aims for same-day service, but retains two loaner cars in case of longer jobs.
Getting their business to this point wasn’t without risk or effort for the Shervins, but the road from Jackson Hole to Florence was a natural one.
In the ’60s, AJ’s grandfather opened a gas station in Jackson Hole and it gradually grew into a one-stop shop for tires, oil changes and mechanical issues. AJ began working there from a young age and continued learning his way around an auto shop through his teens until finally assuming the manager position.
Along with earning an associate’s degree from the Wyoming-based technical institute WyoTech, AJ accrued more than 15 years of experience before setting his sights elsewhere.
By this time, Megan and AJ, both born and raised in Jackson Hole, had come to manage their respective family businesses to great success. Jackson Hole’s small-town intimacy had taught them the importance of orienting themselves in a tight-knit community and they felt their individual achievements had qualified them to carve their own path together.
The time seemed right for a move.
While visiting her sister in Florence, Megan was introduced to the Potters, the previous owners of the auto shop just off Highway 101. Coincidentally, they were looking to sell.
“We wanted to do our own thing and this was the perfect opportunity,” said Megan.
After a few more visits to the Florence area, the Shervins felt the familiar echoes of Jackson Hole’s small-town allure.
“We liked the community here. It reminded us of how we grew up in Jackson Hole,” Megan said. “We wanted to be a part of that.”
Jackson Hole, like Florence, benefited from a seasonal tourism industry, but the Shervins felt the town had shed some of its bedrock communal cohesion over the years.
“We wanted to go to a place where it was community-minded and we wanted to be part of a community that supported each other. Said Megan. “Our slogan here is: Locally-owned. Community-minded.”
It’s in this spirit AJ emphasizes the importance of integrity and workmanship in his shop. “I treat each person’s car like it’s my own,” he said. He bemoans instances in which he’s seen mechanics cut corners. “That’s my thing. I can’t sleep at night if I did something like that.”
It’s a standard he soberly extends to his shop and his employees who share that same goal with AJ.
Back in Jackson Hole, the Shervins had turned themselves into a household name — so recognizable that surprised travelers from Jackson Hole coming down the Oregon coast have even been prompted to stop by the Florence shop.
Megan and AJ hope to achieve the same kind of recognition among Florence residents.
As Florence strives to make its own small mark on the map, the Shervins see themselves entwined in the process.
“We want to grow with Florence,” said Megan. “We want this town to succeed.”
Passing their auto shop’s second anniversary mark, Megan and AJ are feeling more deeply connected with the community as their roots sink into Florence soil.
“We’re getting to know the town, and hoping that the town gets to know us, too,” said Megan and AJ.