He’s a devoted husband, a doting father, and a small business owner: all noble, yet normal, pursuits. But spend a few moments chatting with Shahe Koulloukian, and you’ll quickly realize that he isn’t your average guy. First of all, he’s fluent in six languages (seven, if you count his favorite – laughter). He is a professional actor and has performed as a stand-up comedian at the Mirage in Las Vegas. He’s a classically trained chef who has lived, and learned, literally all over the world.
Out of all those things, though, what stands out the most about Shahe is the genuine warmth and passion that shines through when he talks about his business, Mazvo Auto Care Center – and the reasons he started it. As a young man, he worked as an apprentice mechanic in his uncle’s shop in Philadelphia, then broke into the industry as a mechanic for several dealerships, where he excelled and was promoted to management. But he was disheartened by the way clients were often treated: as nothing more than dollar signs. “I wanted to give customers more for their hard-earned money. The dealerships only wanted the bottom line, and I just couldn’t take it any longer,” says Shahe. “So I applied for a small business loan and moved forward with only one condition to myself: that I would never, ever compromise my principles just to make a buck.”
This is how, nearly two decades ago, he opened the doors to Mazvo Auto Care Center – and from the ground up, established it as so much more than a place to get your car fixed. Shahe and his wife Lena strive to provide an unparalleled quality of service … but beyond that, education and empowerment. “I do more than just repair cars; I explain all aspects of owning and operating a vehicle,” he says. Want to know how to improve your fuel economy? How to avoid getting carjacked? What to do in an accident? The best way to purchase and sell cars? Just ask Shahe. He’ll tell you – for free. In addition, he hosts a twice-yearly free class exclusively for women, where students learn how to jumpstart a vehicle, change a spare tire, check engine oil level and tire pressures, and gain an overall familiarity with how their car operates. It’s all a part of the customer experience that Shahe envisioned, and has stayed true to for all these years: premium service, personal attention, and a commitment to going the extra mile.
Most car owners treat a mechanic shop like going to a dentist: an “I’ll-only-go-if-I-have-to” approach. “It shouldn’t have to be that way,” says Shahe. So he patiently continues his quest to change people’s perception of what a good mechanic should be … one satisfied, enlightened customer at a time.
This article was originally published in So Scottsdale magazine