For over 20 years, Lee Hoang’s lawnmower and automotive repair business was a staple of Edmonds Way, a small brick shop guarded by its army of small machines. Now the building has a new owner: Edmonds resident and automotive repair veteran Geoff Hovde, who purchased it from owner Priscilla Reynolds in late 2022.
Despite his extended stay, Hoang never owned the building; he rented it from Priscilla Reynolds and her late husband Tom. The couple opened Reynolds Automotive in 1978, purchasing it from Ivan Carroll, who ran the shop as “Carroll’s.” Priscilla Reynolds, a real estate agent for over 36 years, said she did the books and ordering while Tom, who began working on cars at age 14, did the repairs.
Tom’s early experience with automobiles contributed to the success of Reynold’s Automotive, and there was often a two-week wait due to customer demand, Priscilla said. One customer, Lee Terry, drove from California so that Tom himself could work on his vehicle. According to Priscilla, Tom’s ability and know-how was so renowned that Shoreline Community College asked for assistance in establishing their first automotive repair curriculum.
“He never charged as much as he should have; he wouldn’t have to work as hard,” Priscilla said.
The building’s new owner, Geoff Hovde, has a name familiar to many in Edmonds. Hovde’s father is a builder who contributed to numerous projects that Edmonds residents see every day, including the Harbor Square business complex, Miller’s Rentals, Barton Industrial Park and the McGinness Building, which now serves as Edmonds City Hall. Hovde initially followed in his father’s footsteps by working in construction but found he had more fun working on cars.
Geoff Hovde spent much of his childhood in Wenatchee, graduating from Eastmont High School in 2003. He attended Lake Washington Institute of Technology and earned an ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) Master’s Technician certification. He’s spent 18 years in the automotive repair industry and his experience only solidified that this was his passion.
Like many small business owners, Hovde has always wanted to do his own thing, but garages are a pretty rare commodity in Edmonds.
“When it (the Reynolds Automotive building) came up for sale, I jumped on it as soon as I could. I tried to be first in line,” said Hovde. He intends to name his new business All Service Automotive and plans to staff the repair shop himself. He added that he’ll work on “anything with an engine,” including both domestic and foreign automobiles. Hovde said he specializes in diagnostics and will focus on informing customers visually, using photography and thorough explanations, so they can understand what car repair issues are a priority and what can wait.
“I’m really into quality service and not ripping people off,” Hovde said. “I stand behind my work and I take pride in my work.”
Before he opens All Service Automotive, however, Hovde has a lot to do. He plans to completely revamp the old building by installing new lighting, remodeling the office, giving it a paint job, getting a new sign and installing a new furnace.
All Service Automotive is scheduled to be ready for business this spring.
— By Jasmine-Contreras Lewis.