NEIGHBORHOOD NOTES | Savoren’s Auto Service in Webber-Camden thrives on word of mouth from satisfied neighbors


“I’d say 70 percent of our customers are repeats,” says James Savoren, the owner and operator of Savoren’s Auto Service in Minneapolis’s Webber-Camden neighborhood. These are clients he has carefully built up since he bought the garage in 1978. That loyal base is not silent, recommending Savoren’s to those seeking reliable auto service on the North Side. North Minneapolis is an area that many people associate with crime and poverty, but the impression that one gets from the neighborhood around Savoren’s is that it is quiet, clean, and orderly. When asked if the area has a lot of crime, Savoren’s answer was that he hasn’t had problems since the 1980s.

James Savoren is personable, and will discuss your problems in a friendly manner. He has a business philosophy that has served him well: “I am honest, brutally honest about your car problems.” He believes that’s what the customer wants, and he seems to be right. Savoren’s has people talking. With practically no advertising, the business relies on word-of-mouth to survive. One customer, Linda Koelman, says, “They have always been good when my husband and I have used them over the years…and they have been great neighbors for us.”

At Savoren’s they take a healthy approach to work, with the hours being from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Savoren’s cares for the lives of its employees as much as they do for the repair of your car, and it is clear that Savoren does care for cars. His auto service takes in nearly all types of cars for repair. Savoren says that he finds that vehicles like Toyota and Hondas seem to hold up a little better than other vehicles and he finds them a bit easier to fix. However, one of his mottos for repairs, easy or hard, is “I don’t give up.”

If Savoren’s Auto Service is not able to fix the problem that you have with your car, they will send you to a shop that will. Savoren works in cooperation with other repair businesses that are reliable, such as Hoover’s Wheel Alignment. Reliability is something that Savoren’s can be proud of. Savoren does not offer everything under the sun—no snacks, no sunglasses, no fuel. Savoren decided that he is in the business to fix cars and do it well. The services he does offer are the ones connected to your car having trouble, a tow truck, and a willingness to drive you home after you leave your car with him.

Necie Halberg, a customer, said, “I have used them a few times and when they say your car will be done by a certain date, it’s done and done right…and the price is right as well. I would use them again.”

Reporting for this article supported in part by Bush Foundation.