YORK, Pa. (WHTM) — A businessman in York is defining success by more than just what he has accomplished for himself.
Nowadays, Rey Lopez is an establishment in the local business community.
“Literally everywhere I go, I know somebody,” Lopez said. “They say, ‘Oh, that’s the guy from Tru Customs!'”
But it didn’t start out that way.
“I took auto mechanics in high school before I joined the military,” Lopez said. “I used to work on all my friends’ cars.”
First, it was mostly a hobby. Then a small business up in Massachusetts.
“And the economy up there is a little harder. A little more expensive. So we decided to venture out to a different state,” Lopez said. Pennsylvania, to be specific. York, to be even more specific. “And it was the best move ever.”
“I just slowly started doing remote starts,” he said. “I’d do detailing. And just slowly started building up my customer base.”
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Now he does audio, video, rims, tires and more. A few years ago, he bought the building he previously leased.
Tru Customs is “definitely a family business,” Lopez said. His nephew Antonio Lopez works in the shop and lives in an apartment above it.
Or more precisely, 24-year-old Antonio is Rey’s cousin. “Technically,” Antonio Lopez said. “But in the sense of the Hispanic Heritage, we look at our elders as people who – you know, we show them signs of respect. And calling them uncle or aunt, that gives them that sign of respect.”
Rey Lopez’s Hispanic Heritage gives him another advantage with Spanish-speaking customers who have arrived in York in recent years, whether from Puerto Rico (where Lopez’s ancestors are from; Lopez is from Milwaukee) or another country.
Or maybe it’s really their advantage.
“I’ll come in there and say, ‘¿Cómo estás? ¿Con qué te puedo ayudar?’ And I’ll help them out, and they’ll feel more comfortable,” Lopez said.
“And you know, slowly over the years, I’ve had people who spoke just Spanish, and now they’re starting to learn English,” he said.