So What's New In July?
I just had to highlight this Shelby GT500KR right off the bat. Easily one of the coolest cars to come to Stew’s Self Service Garage and this thing was in immaculate condition. It is in fact a real GT500KR so we were very excited to get some pictures of. The yellow is very eye catching and a sight to behold in person. Fun thing about this car is that I had seen it before at the Mustang round-up at Bellevue College for the 50th anniversary. I’ve always been a big fan of the GT500 as it was the poster car from the 2001 Gone in 60 Seconds. I had Eleanor on my wall growing up, so the GT500 will always hold a special spot for me.
What else has happened in July? We’ve continued to game-plan on further upgrades to come later this year and next year. I can’t talk about all of them yet, but one of our focuses is to continue improving the new workstations. Although we are very happy with the current setup, there is some fine-tuning that still needs to happen. We’d love to get feedback from you all on any adjustments in layout, changes or additions of tools, or any other comments on the new setup. We are calling the current version of our tool foams V1, and we are in the planning stages for V2. Something we have already started working on is a labeling system to make the tool layout even easier to use.
Meet Eliza! Our New Employee
Also new in July was the addition of our new employee Eliza. She joins Stew’s Self Service Garage shortly after her first time in as a customer. As some of you know, we had a job listing on Facebook and other places seeking a new employee. Well, Eliza had come in to work on her car and because she enjoyed her time so much she wanted to learn more about us, afterward she went to our Facebook page. There, she found our job listing and the next day hand-delivered a cover letter and resume. She joins us with some basic car knowledge, but eager to learn more. You’ll find her shadowing Rick, John, Steve, and I in the shop as she learns more about cars, tools, and car repair. Truly a quick learner, she’s already diving right into DIY car repair. For now, you’ll mostly find her friendly face at the desk checking you in, making appointments, and keeping the office area up to our high standards. I can speak for everyone at Stew’s that we are excited that she has joined our team!
What's Up With The Maker Membership Program?
I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a progress update here! We haven’t forgotten about this, we are still making progress on getting this service up. Shortly after we announced the program, Tormach made an announcement of their own. They are introducing a new generation of CNC machines, which has put us in a little bit of a hold. The new 1100MX machine will be released sometime this winter, so we are waiting until it has been officially released. The new version will offer many exciting features found on more advanced machines. This will give you a much better experience using the machine and we’ll be able to provide even higher value to our members. I don’t believe in purchasing equipment that will be outdated within months, so for the moment we wait.
What else is happening though? We are building out a complete web experience and center for this service. The extra time we get while waiting for the latest machine to be released is being put into working on a site where you can sign up for the service, manage your membership, learn more about the service, and take digital classes. We are also working on forming partnerships with other companies to provide the best experience possible for your monthly membership. Just like the self service portion of Stew’s, I am taking extreme care setting this service up to make sure we provide only the best.
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Steak, It's What's For Dinner
If you have attended one of our shop BBQs, you likely know I enjoy cooking. So what’s with the picture of the T-Bone? Well, I’m mostly known for my steak cooking abilities, which I happen to take the most pictures of. My parents got divorced when I was at the end of elementary school, and my dad wasn’t much of a cook. This meant we ate pizza just about nightly, which was super awesome for the first 6 months, but eventually got a little old. As is a common theme, I decided to do something about that, which meant learning how to cook. I started off with scrambled eggs and went through an entire carton of eggs in an hour, burning or under cooking nearly every attempt. From there I learned to cook more things in the frying pan. Eventually I advanced to using our propane grill.
Using a grill meant cooking steak, hot dogs, burgers, and corn. Whenever we broke out the grill it was usually for parties, and my dad was the grill master. To graduate to the grill was a big step for me, one I was pretty excited for. I’d always loved steaks, it was my favorite food growing up (spoiler alert: it still is). I learned to harness the grill’s powers and make some pretty decent food, but my urge to get better was ever present. When I turned 16 and was able to drive to Costco, I’d fire up the grill, call up my friends, and we’d have steak dinners almost nightly. My goal was to be able to cook a steak like you’d receive from a 5-star restaurant. Later I’d come to learn a lot of it came to meat selection, but I had to nail my technique first.
Enter the YouTube, the center of learning for me throughout the years. I started by looking up “How to cook steaks like a 5 star restaurant”. To my surprise, this usually meant cooking steak in a pan on the stove-top, counter to my grilling roots. I also learned how to pick out steaks at the store that wouldn’t turn into flavorless hockey pucks. I spent hundreds of hours cooking steaks, now to the point where I’ve got it nailed. Something I pride myself on is being able to cook amazing food for people to enjoy like they were at a high-end steak house.
Now back to our shop BBQs! If you haven’t attended one, keep an eye on our Facebook page, we will be announcing another one here soon. This is when we fire up the big smoker and make some delicious smoked BBQ. Typically I make pulled pork as it’s nice and simple for many to enjoy. Now is where I tempt you by placing a gallery for you to salivate over. Enjoy!