A family business started when the children were small has welcomed the third and final offspring into the fold. And their business is following in the footsteps of another well-known Dartford one too.
Orchard Garage Ltd, which has two sites in Park Road and Heath Lane, both in Dartford, is run by Geoff and Pam Manwaring – which they started together in 2002.
Geoff had been in the motor industry for around 23 years by then and Pam in management accounts – and with their two skillsets, were able to set up the business together.
Pam said: “Geoff deals with everything concerning the workshop and daily running, whilst I deal with everything concerning the paperwork. Best of all, I get to talk all day to customers, so I love my job!”
And now their children are all involved:
Their eldest Jane, 28, joined in 2015 and runs the reception at Park Road, plus she’s their top sales person too.
Adam, 27, stepped foot into the workshop the day before his 16th birthday, keen to take his childhood love of taking things apart into real life. He’s now worked his way up to lead technician, heading up the Health Lane workshop.
One day he’ll be running the business with his siblings and, keen to keep up with changing technology is fully qualified to work on electric/hybrid vehicles.
Max was the final member of the family to join, in mid-July this year – but has been working with the family on Saturdays since he was 13.
His motor vehicle technician apprenticeship started in September but he’s also keen to take on the business side too, working with Jane and Adam to be the second generation to run the company.
They’re not the only family to be on the Heath Lane site – the previous owners, who ran Dartford Motors had seen three generations own and run it, since it was bought just after the Second World War.
Pam said: “It’s wonderful to bring your children into the business, to give them job opportunities, train them and watch them flourish. The five of us are all working together to build their future.”
“It’s especially nice at Heath Lane, our newest branch, to be taking over a site after another family had run their business here for so long. It has a nice feel about the place.”