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Ryan Flattum, owner of RMF Auto Service, stands in front of his newly opened New Richmond shop at 725 Industrial Boulevard. (Photo by Micheal Foley)

RMF Auto Service opens New Richmond shop

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About 12 years ago, mechanic Ryan Flattum of Hudson parted ways with his employer to start RMF Auto Service by working out of a small shed on his property.

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In 2007, he built a large auto shop just north of Hudson.

Late last month, Flattum’s venture hit another new milestone on Dec. 23 when he opened a second shop at 725 Industrial Boulevard, just northeast of the intersection of Highway 64 and Wall Street in New Richmond.

“I’ve always kept my eyes open,” Flattum said. “I was just looking around and this building was sitting here vacant for a long time, and I kind of forgot about it. I just thought I’d come and take a look at it, and it seemed right.”

Flattum was able to look past the shortcomings of the long-vacant structure and see the potential it held.

“When I walked in here, it was a disaster. It was horrible,” Flattum said. “But the layout was decent, and I could see what I could do with the building — and the price was right.”

After taking ownership of the building on Oct. 1, he quickly got to work gutting and remodeling the 9,900 square-foot space to suit his needs.

In addition to the main shop floor, the building includes a reception area, restrooms, offices and a waiting room in the front, and a parts storage area in the back. The property also includes something a little extra.

“There’s a full-blown body shop in here as well, that we’re not using,” Flattum said. “It may be something someday.”

In the short term, Flattum is leasing the extra space to an individual for a special project. For now, the shop will forego body work and offer standard services.

“We do basically all mechanical repair,” Flattum said. “Anything from oil changes to tires to engine or transmission replacement. In fact we have one in the shop right now we’re putting an engine in.”

Though the new shop is staffed mostly with personnel from Flattum’s Hudson shop, signs in the driveway show that he is still in need of more employees to fill some gaps.

“We’re looking for a service writer in Hudson and an ASE-certified technician here or in Hudson, I haven’t really decided yet.”

Flattum’s brother Taylor has taken over day-to-day operations at the Hudson shop, and Ryan now spends his days in New Richmond, though he plans to eventually spend time at both locations. So far, he is enjoying getting to know the New Richmond community.

“I like it. New Richmond has been awesome — warm and welcoming. People have been great,” Flattum said.

RMF Auto Service’s New Richmond shop is open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Flattum hopes to open the shop on Saturdays, like the Hudson shop, once there is enough business and employees to handle it.

“Hopefully it will be busy soon,” Flattum said. “I’m putting out a marketing piece that I think people will enjoy. They’ll have to check their mailbox.”

Find more information online at rmfauto.com or facebook.com/rmfauto.

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Micheal Foley
Micheal Foley joined RiverTown Multimedia in July 2013 and serves as editor at the New Richmond News. In the past he has worked at several news outlets including Patch.com in Hudson, Wis., the Desert Sun in Palm Springs, Calif., the Leader-Telegram in Eau Claire, Wis., and the Pioneer Press in St. Paul, Minn. He began his career as a Marine Corps journalist. He served as a reporter and photographer in Okinawa, Japan, and editor of the base newspaper at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, Calif. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin–River Falls.
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