Under same management

Under same management

If you've been round and about in the Village Buzz area lately, you may have noticed that the old Matilda servo in South Pine Road has undergone a name change and a glitzy makeover and revamp.

While watching the construction work going on some locals were concerned that the Hanifin family, famous locally for their service and expertise, had moved on and that we would all have to get used to new owners.

Luckily, as it turned out, the family is still in charge in spite of the rebranding under the Puma name and the facilities upgrade. Owner Les Hannifin explained to me that Puma Energy bought the Matilda brand in 2014 and is currently rebranding all Matilda servos under their own name.

Under same management

Skie Hanifin, Kearma Gleeson and Les Hanifin

The renovations and improvements to Les' servo were completed in the past month and it is back to doing a roaring trade and selling roughly five times as much fuel as it did when he bought the old Matilda and the land it stands on in 2004.

In those days it was pretty run down with a row of pumps and a three-bay workshop behind them. He remembers that there were 14 and service stations in Everton Park but his is now the only one left after servos began to decline in profitability as more and more stopped offering workshop service.

The volumes of cars being serviced grew so much that a new four-bay workshop was established round the back and branded as Hano’s Car Care. The workshop bays were converted into an office and shop with a coffee shop to open in the next few months.

One of the innovations which drove the servo's success over the years is the fact that Les introduced driveway service on weekdays between 8am and 5pm. His may be the last servo in Brisbane to offer that but he feels that it has been a very important contributor to their long-term success.

Under same management

It enables customers to refuel and have their water levels and tyre pressures checked if they are not confident of doing so for themselves or if they are dressed up and not wanting to get their hands and clothes dirty.

One other reason for the servo's ongoing success is the tight control the family has kept over it and their attention to quality. Les gained plenty of management experience as operations manager at the Toowong bus depot, which has stood him in good stead, and he owned a number of service stations before this one.

He is now more or less retired and the fuel, shop and admin side of the business is run by his daughter Kearma while the workshop is under the control of his son, Skie, who did his apprenticeship alongside Les in the business.

Les still takes a keen interest in the business and regularly visits to keep an eagle eye on things but is now devoting more of his time to racing his Commodore Brock-lookalike in the Queensland Touring Car Championship at Lakeside and Queensland Raceway.

The Hanifin family are community-minded and have arrangements with a number of nearby schools whereby the business makes a $20 donation to school funds every time a teacher or parent from the school has their car serviced there. In addition, anyone who has their car serviced by them is issued with a fuel discount card.

 

Additional details

Hano’s Car Care is an RACQ approved repairer servicing all makes and models without voiding new car warranties. It offers log book servicing, new tyres, repairs and alignments, air conditioning and auto electrical services. Contact: (07) 3855 1600.

 

Village Buzz editorial for Puma Servo – South Pine Rd.

By: Allan Jackson

Email: info@allanjackson.net

Website: www.allanjackson.net

Tel. No.: +61 403 943 970

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