M&M auto repair in Easthampton readies for transition

  • M&M Service Center in Easthampton. Elizabeth Donoghue

For the Gazette
Published: 12/2/2018 3:53:48 PM

EASTHAMPTON — The owner of a longtime automotive service center on Parsons Street has recruited a protégé to help run the repair and maintenance side of his business.

John Yagmin, who has owned M&M Service Center since 1979, on Oct. 1 turned the reins over to a part of his business to Jeremy Ison, a family friend and auto repairman from Easthampton.

While Ison is running the repair side of the business, Yagmin continues to oversee used car sales and state inspections.

The partnership is something Ison — who was friends with one of Yagmin’s kids growing up — has been interested in for some time. He proposed buying the business from Yagmin five years ago.

“He wasn’t ready,” Ison said.

Then this fall, Ison connected with Yagmin again to discuss taking over the auto repair business. They worked out a deal where Ison would handle repairs, interactions with clients, and financial matters for the time being while Yagmin retains ownership until he’s ready to sell.

“He was looking to retire, looking for someone to take over, wants to eventually sell the business,” Ison said. “But for now I’ll rent it and hopefully buy it in the near future.”

Ison graduated from Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School and has worked for General Motors dealers for the past 14 years. This is his first foray into possibly owning his own business.

In the two months since joining M&M, Ison has transitioned from being an employee for other auto repair businesses to running the show himself. The repair center currently employs Ison and one other employee.

“There’s more opportunities,” Ison said.

The new role, Ison said, gives him more interaction with customers, “more face-time with people,” he said.

In terms of the logistical aspect of running a business, Ison is learning the ropes.

A line tech in the auto repair business, which Ison was, does not deal with the customer’s experience or the paperwork that owners handle.

“There was quite the learning curve,” Ison said.

He doesn’t fret. “It’s pretty easy stuff to figure out.”

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