69-11 Juniper Blvd. South
Middle Village, NY 11379
Tel: 718 326 5180-90
Fax: 718 326 5186
Our business spotlight this issue of the Juniper Berry shines on a family owned and operated collision repair shop in Middle Village, Columbia Bros. I had the opportunity to talk to the owner, Michael Columbia, and this is what he told me.
Nicholas and Michael Columbia, two young brothers with a dream and a great ambition came to Middle Village and created their future. In June of 1972 they rented a service station which sold Shell gas and operated a full repair shop. They proceeded to purchase a tow truck to help expand their business and to provide better service to their customers, Additionally, they then purchased a second tow truck. This led to an opportunity to participate in a pilot program run by the City of New York for retrieval of stolen and abandoned vehicles in addition to those involved in accidents.
The participation in the program led them to the realization that knowledge of auto appraising was essential for proper repairs to these vehicles. Michael Columbia promptly took the necessary classes, passing the exams, to become a certified licensed appraiser.
After 25 years at the same location they had to move because of a dramatic rent increase and an owner unwilling to sell the property. Consequently they had to sell the business.
Using the skills they gained by participating in the City of New York Pilot Towing Program they expanded from a service and repair auto shop to an auto body collision and repair shop. Within a short time Columbia Bros. permanently relocated to its present address at 69-11 Juniper Boulevard, South in Middle Village. When Michael bought the building it was the operation for an old cemetery monument business. He invested the needed moneys and the result is the state of the art auto body repair operation they have today.
Columbia Bros. is currently the direct repair facility for most major insurance companies.
Columbia is operating an environmentally conscience auto body shop. It is fully equipped with certified technicians and state of the art equipment. I can tell you, the place is absolutely spotless, looking like the operating room in some high end hospital! I’ve seen restaurants that aren’t this clean! As Michael phrases it about the nature of the actual collision repair work that they do, “We maintain the utmost cleanliness in a dirty business!” Implicit in the cleanliness of his operation Michael is always concerned about the safety of all, including the surrounding neighbors. Michael is conscience of the environmental fragility of their work and makes sure high standards are always maintained.
Michael’s son, Michael, Jr., has joined his father in the running of Columbia Bros. when he’s not doing his primary job as a New York City fireman.
Columbia Bros. gives thanks to its customers for their patronage and loyalty over the past 33 years and looks forward to many more years of service to our community.