Sean Welsh started learning the auto repair business at his father's Longview gas station when he was 15. Now, 35 years later, he's striking out on his own.
Welsh, 50, of Lexington, opened Welsh and Son Automotive May 1 in Longview. He leases garage space at 940 Vandercook Way inside Baxter Auto Parts, giving the repair shop quick access to parts, Welsh said.
Welsh has worked most of his life in the auto business, mostly recently as a Napa part salesman in Longview and Castle Rock. He does tune-ups, brakes, oil changes, engine work and heating and cooling systems at the shop on Vandercook Way.
Welsh's 15-year-old son, Sean Brandon Welsh, works occasionally at the shop, his father said. The younger Welsh's baby picture also appears on the shop's business cards.
When Welsh was his son's age, he was pumping gas at his father's Ocean Beach Chevron station. A milkman by trade, Welsh' father let him tinker around and teach himself how to fix cars, he said.
"I picked it up pretty easily," Welsh said.
Welsh and Son is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment Saturday. Call 442-1077 for more information.
Toledo hoping to revamp downtown with market
After a brutal six months that included a fire and business closures, downtown Toledo is hoping to bounce back with a Saturday market.
Located in the center of town at Second Street and Cowlitz Street, the market will be held the second and fourth Saturdays of each month through September, organizer Tonya Lovell said.
The first market was held Saturday, with 12 vendors and live entertainment from the band Sidekicks, she said.
A Christmas Day fire destroyed a building that housed antique store, museum and used book store, and a long-running pharmacy shut down in January.
A group called Vision Toledo was formed to develop ideas to improve Toledo's economy, and the Saturday market was one idea, Lovell said.
Call Rick or Tonya Lovell at (360)864-2121 or e-mail to email@example.com for more information on the market.
• Renee Corwin-Rey of Longview has qualified as a "Championship" agent by Farmers Insurance for her outstanding overall performance.
As part of the recognition during Farmers' 83rd year, she will attend a championship conference May 22-26 in San Francisco to discuss new business strategies and key issues affecting customers and the insurance industry.
• Cowlitz County Habitat for Humanity's effort to build affordable housing in Longview and Kelso has helped Habitat for Humanity International receive the rank of the sixth largest home builder on Builder magazine's top 100 list, states a press release from the local organization.
In 2010, Cowlitz County Habitat helped several families obtain affordable housing and plans to continue expanding its building efforts. The local group has built 15 homes since 2000 and has one under construction in Longview, according to the press release.
Builder magazine's top 100 list is an annual compilation of the largest home builders in the country.
• Aimee McFadden has joined St. Helens Community Federal Credit Union as its business development manager. She will build relationships with the local businesses and nonprofit organizations in Columbia County.
Talking Business is a weekly column about business openings, closings or major changes. Contact reporter Erik Olson with any business news tips at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 577-2510.