Brothers John and Mike Tremonti stand outside their family business, Midas of Southfield, on Telegraph Road.

Brothers John and Mike Tremonti stand outside their family business, Midas of Southfield, on Telegraph Road.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Southfield small businesses stay invested in neighborhoods

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published November 16, 2018

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SOUTHFIELD — When it comes to automobiles, it’s safe to say the Tremontis know a thing or two.

What started as a small car wash in Oak Park in 1979 by John Tremonti Sr. has grown into three car washes and three auto repair shops under the Midas franchise.

Along with car washes and shops in Clinton Township and Auburn Hills, the Tremontis own Midas of Southfield, 24945 Telegraph Road, and the Classic Touch car wash next door.

While the shops are under a big name, Southfield resident John Tremonti Jr. said he and his brother and business partner, Mike Tremonti, are small business owners through and through.

Shoppers, retailers and business analysts are paying more attention to the impact of small businesses as Small Business Saturday approaches Nov. 24. The campaign encourages consumers to buy local from a brick-and-mortar small business.

“I believe small businesses are the primary providers of employment. When you do patronize a small local business, you’re helping to contribute to the economy,” Tremonti Jr. said. “You’re also supporting local taxes and the city municipality.”

Tremonti Jr. said his family has owned the car wash at Telegraph and 10 Mile roads for 25 years, but they recently stepped in and took over the Midas next door.

According to their website, Midas stores are owned and operated by families in the communities they serve. Midas stores offer auto repairs, oil changes, tire changes, maintenance, brake repairs and more. Midas also recently launched Project Spark, which helps families, veterans and first responders with car repairs.

“The Midas has been there for as long as the car wash has been there. The previous franchise owner ... we approached him about three years ago and asked if he’d be interested in selling the franchise, and we took it over,” Tremonti Jr. said.

The two businesses complement each other well, he said, as each has seasonal ups and downs.

“The auto industry is tough in the winter. You can run specials during the holidays for winterizing and coolant flushes, but it’s very difficult because I’m competing with Santa Claus,” Tremonti Jr. said. “But with car washes, when it’s cold and snowy, business picks up because people want to get the snow and salt off their cars.”

Wheels and washes aside, Tremonti Jr. is an active member in the Southfield community and often volunteers his time at the Vollbrecht Planetarium at Morris Adler Elementary, on Filmore Road.

“I’ve always been interested in the tech side of things. I graduated from (Michigan State University) with a degree in engineering,” Tremonti Jr. said. “I was out with my sons on a camping trip and we had a telescope. One of them was really good with it and we saw something in the night sky, and that interested me greatly. I’ve been interested ever since.”

Tanya Markos-Vanno, president of the Southfield Area Chamber of Commerce, said Southfield is home to countless small businesses — all of which help contribute to making the city the Center of It All.

“Small businesses provide a place for people to shop so they don’t have to leave the community, and that gives back by putting dollars in the pockets of businesses, who turn around and spend it in the community,” Markos-Vanno said.

The owner of The Italian Dish in Birmingham, Holly Anselmi, comes from a long line of entrepreneurs.

“My grandfather had a roller rink in Waterford,” she said. “My cousins have a business and my brother is a local attorney. There is a little bit of it in our blood.”

Local business owners have a unique connection with their customers as important members of the community, she said, noting that she is a past member of Women of Tomorrow, which mentors high school girls.

“My dad was on the school board,” she said. “We support the schools and pay taxes here, and I employ five women that work here,” Anselmi said.

Customers benefit from shopping local by discovering new and unique items, she said. “We have a loyal customer base that is always looking for something new,” she said in her Maple Road store that features Italian pottery, gift and food items, and a wide array of holiday-themed offerings.

“You don’t know stuff like this exists anymore,” said Nancy Mazurek, who works at The Italian Dish. “I like to see things up close. And you won’t get that personal touch at the mall.”

Anselmi said she applies her “shop local” philosophy personally. “I think about that when I need makeup or gifts,” she said. “We all like to shop online — it is easy and convenient. But it doesn’t do anything for the local community.”

Find out more about Midas of Southfield by calling (248) 809-4620. For more information on the Southfield Area Chamber of Commerce, visit southfieldchamber.com. Learn more about Small Business Saturday by visiting www.facebook.com/SmallBusinessSaturday.

Staff Writers Eric Czarnik and Linda Shepard contributed to this report.

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