By Jennifer Pauly
President, Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce
The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce Ed's Garage as the recipient of the Ransomville Business of the Year Award.
The Ransomville Business and Professional Association assists the chamber in providing a business nomination that has showed dedication and service to the Ransomville community. Ed's Garage is now a third-generation business, with a history of providing quality service and a lasting legacy to the region.
Ed's Garage, owned by Jipp Ortiz, is a place rich with history. It's located at 2662 Youngstown Lockport Road in Ransomville. The business started in 1946 as Pedro Motors by Pedro Ortiz, Jipp's grandfather, in a field known as the strawberry patch on Youngstown Lockport Road.
Pedro's specialty was selling cars, both new and old. One could guarantee that, if purchasing a car from Pedro, a prayer for the new car owner along with blessings and safe travels was going to come along with the transaction. Pedro often held church services in the middle of the day, right in the middle of the shop. He also helped support and start six churches in Puerto Rico.
Jipp's father, Ed, took over the garage as an auto dealer and focused on repairs, as well. He changed the name to Ed's Garage.
Ransomville Speedway was opened by Ed and a group of friends on the land behind the garage before moving it to the current location in 1958. Ed is now retired from the business, but you can still find him - at 86 years old - occasionally at the garage.
Jipp took ownership around 25 years ago after moving back to Ransomville (from Utah) with his wife, Rhonda. Cars were always a part of his life. He painted his first car by himself when he was 12 years old. Moving back to the area, he knew he wanted a small-town community for his daughters, Camille and Caitlin, to grow up in. Jipp sought a place where they could ride their bicycles down the street, know their neighbors and be around family.
Jipp had sold tires in Utah and carried over his experience and knowledge into Ed's Garage (along with painting). The business has evolved over the years and now focuses on collision and paint, tire sales and Krown Rust protection. Jipp has one additional full-time employee and said he hopes to hire another in the spring.
Providing fair pricing and quality work has created a constant flow of customers to Ed's Garage. Trust is built with his customers and that is something that is very important to Jipp.
Word of mouth is one of the best ways people find him. His customers appreciate local business and like to know the person they are doing business with. In return, Jipp gives his time and has donated to local organizations that help make the community a better place to live. He supports the Ransomville Fire Co. and serves on the Town of Porter Planning Board.
Both Jipp and his wife are active at their church and love spending time with their grandson, Logan Wade. One can also find him every Friday night at Ransomville Speedway, where he has raced in several divisions and supports the track as a sponsor.
Jipp and his family history through Ed's Garage have created a legacy of care for cars and the community.
The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce and the Ransomville Business and Professional Association proudly congratulate Ed's Garage, the 2018 Ransomville Business of the Year.
Awards will be presented to those contributing to the success of the local area when the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce holds its annual awards gala on Thursday, April 19, at the Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston.
The event begins with a cocktail hour and hors d'oeuvres, followed by a sit-down dinner and awards program. A silent auction will take place throughout the evening.
Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available through the chamber office by calling 716-754-9500.