We here at myBurbank News feel it’s always a treat to get to know the small business owners that call Burbank home. This week, we talked to Jesse Clark of Universal Service Station, located at 2005 N Glenoaks Blvd. Universal Service Station acts as a gas station, convenience store, car wash, concierge services, and an auto-repair shop.
Without further ado, let’s get to know Jesse!
How long have you been operating in Burbank?
The mechanic and gas station have been open since 2011. We took ownership in early 2011 and shut it down for remodeling and getting it up to code. We reopened in late 2011.
What drew you and your business to Burbank?
I kinda fell into it and took a liking to it. I was on the westside for so long, ended up in Burbank in a roundabout way and made it my home. Burbank is such a different world. That’s what attracts me
to the city. And safety. I’m raising a little girl and I’d rather her be here than in Venice.
We’ve made the city sort of our own community here. A lot of the people I know I’ve gotten to know over the years. It’s cool to walk around Burbank and hear, “Hey! It’s Gas Station Guy!”
Speaking of the people, what’s your favorite thing about the city and/or its people?
The city is warm. I mean, to put it like that, there’s warm and cold to me. In Venice and in the westside, it was just so populated and so busy. This is a little slower paced and warmer people. You get the time to know them instead of a rush-rush. Since I’m here all the time, I’ve gotten the luxury of meeting a lot of cool people from here. And there are a lot of cool people in Burbank.
How difficult would say owning a small business in Burbank is?
It’s my first business venture. Everyday is a challenge. It’s always evolving, and if I don’t figure out ways to evolve, then we fall behind, and I don’t want to do that. We have added, and will continue to add different services, which is also fun. It’s a learning process, a growing process, and a catering process because I like to cater to my clients.
What did you do before this?
I managed a Jaguar, BMW, Landrover Auto-Repair Shop for many years. I was a service-advisor, manager, car washer, parts order – just everything. Every hat, I wore it. I still do that because it’s just in my nature.
Does you past experience make this position a little more appealing? You’re essentially doing the same things, but now its your own.
Well it is my own. And it’s not just my own. It’s our family business. My wife, my sister-in-law, my step-son, my nephews, everyone is a help and a contributer to our family business. The auto-repair is second nature to me. Knowing the ins and outs of that made for a relatively easy transition. Never had dealt with gas before as a gas station – that’s…interesting. Gas is an interesting business.
Managing the convenience store is always strange to me. It’s quite a menagerie, and I like that. I like being able to offer whatever I can of good quality. I don’t want to stretch myself too thin and do anything low-quality. I haven’t done that and I don’t see that happening. I love it when people are like, “Best experience at an auto-repair shop ever” or “Best car wash ever” or “Did you just paint that car?” I have to tell them, “No, it’s a ten-year-old car, I just gave it some love!”
I saw you were started a Breast Cancer Awareness promotion. Could you elaborate on that?
Yeah, it was an idea for a pink car wash. I want to donate to cancer research. I just saw that Julia Louis-Dreyfus posted today that she has breast cancer, and that should gain some some more eyes and donations out of people’s kindness in their hearts. But for me, I want to do something as well. I’m doing pink snow-foam car washes, which not only look cool, but it cleans well. All for a good cause. We’re going to tally up the amount of washes we do and donate it at the end of the month.
You can find Jesse and his crew at Universal Service station, located at 2005 N Glenoaks Blvd Burbank, CA 91504. To read more about his business and his clients, you can visit his Yelp page here.
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Thanks for reading!