Harbor Auto Repair II is now open
Mayco “Mike” Martinez, the owner of Harbor Auto Repair II. (THG/Joseph F. Berenato. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)
Hammonton’s newest auto shop is open for business.
Harbor Auto Repair II, located at 61 12th St., is the second of two company locations; the first is located in Egg Harbor City.
Mayco owner “Mike” Martinez said the first location opened seven years ago.
“We had a business partner and he decided to move on. I took the place, and it’s me and my brother, Gerardo. We started working together and growing our customer base. We do regular mechanical work, maintenance, oil changes and things like that,” Martinez said.
Martinez was born in southern Mexico and came to the United States in 1999 at age 12, attending school in Atlantic City.
Martinez said he got his start in auto mechanics through his stepfather, a mechanic.
“He was always like, ‘Why don’t you come help out and learn something?’ I didn’t really care, but one day I said, “Let me see what you’re doing. I loved it — moving cars, taking parts apart — and that’s how I got involved,” Martinez said.
Eventually, Martinez’s mother and stepfather moved to Florida.
“He asked me if I wanted to move in with him so we could start something together and I could learn more. I moved there and started working with him. We used to doing some kind of mobile mechanics, and he started getting a lot of customers. That’s when he opened his shop. I helped him for a while, then I went to work for Firestone. There, I “I was the tire guy. I progressed a bit and started doing other things like alignments. Then I wanted to learn how to weld, so I went to Midas,” Martinez said.
A trip to visit one of his sisters who still lived in New Jersey set Martinez on the path to where he is now.
“That’s when I met my wife,” Martinez said.
Now he and his wife, Maite Peña, have two children — Ozeil, 13, and Paris, 1 — and live in Egg Harbor City.
When looking for a place to open a second location, Martinez said Hammonton was a natural choice.
“I’ve always wanted to come here. The area, the people around here are quite friendly. They are nice. They help. Joe, the guy opposite, he didn’t even know me and he offered to help me. I was really surprised; he helped me put my gear here. I don’t know him that way. Other people came here and welcomed us to Hammonton. It’s a good place; I like the city. They treat you well here,” Martinez said.
Harbor Auto Repair II held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 61 12th Street on October 21, 2021. Left to right: Councilor Jonathan Oliva, Greater Hammonton Chamber of Commerce Executive Director John Runfolo, MainStreet Hammonton Executive Director Cassie Iacovelli, Maite Martinez, Oziel Martinez, Mike Martinez holding Paris Martinez, Hammonton Revitalization Corporation President Richard Rehmann and Councilor William Olivo. (THG/Kristin Guglietti. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)
Since Harbor Auto Repair II opened in October, Martinez said business has been good and his customers have been satisfied.
“I try to satisfy my customers. I have to get their cars fixed, because they too have a life… I love my customers and I treat them well. I try to work with them. If I can help with anything I can, I will. At my other location, I have a lot of long-time customers. I try to build relationships with them,” Martinez said.
Harbor Auto Repair II, Martinez said, works on most cars, foreign and domestic.
“There are some concerns about the German cars, but you don’t see a lot here because they will usually go to dealerships… We do engine, transmission swaps, alignments, tyres, brakes, catalytic converters and things like that,” Martinez said.
Martinez noted that his business has the potential to grow, but he’s quite happy with its location on 12th Street and all that Hammonton has to offer, especially the sense of community among residents and property owners. business.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time. I am here. I am ready to stay here for a long time… I really want to be part of the community. I want to help wherever I can; it’s a good place. A guy said to me, ‘We only use local companies. We support each other. Its good. That’s how you make a city live,” Martinez said.
For more information, call (609) 878-3524.