The team members at Alder Street Auto Body have worked on numerous repairs over the years. (John Arendt/Summerland Review)

A commitment to cars and community

Kelsey and Katrina Van Alphen run Alder Street Auto Body in Summerland.

The Summerland Review is beginning a series of profiles of business people in the community.

This week, we spoke with Kelsey and Katrina van Alphen of Alder Street Auto Body.

“I’ve always loved cars, ever since I was five years old,” Kelsey said.

When he was 13 years old, he built a soapbox race car for Alder Street Auto Body, his family’s business.

The car still functions and this year, it has been refinished.

Years later, he built a colourful and noticeable four-wheel-drive truck which features the business’s logo among other images which he proudly displays.

Because of this lifelong love of cars, Van Alphen was the first high school student in B.C. to take apprenticeship training before he had graduated.

He worked at auto body shops in Calgary, where he met his wife Katrina.

RELATED: Old gas pump will be restored

RELATED: Alder Street Auto Body wins for service

In 2004, the couple received a call from Kelsey’s parents, Marty and Linda Van Alphen, owners of Alder Street Auto Body, asking if they would be interested in purchasing and taking over the business.

The purchase took time, as the couple spent a year seeking the funding and financing required to buy the business.

The first years at the business were difficult.

They had some staff turnover when they took over the business and they wondered whether the community would continue to support the business as it was now under new ownership.

During those years, the couple would often spend long hours at the shop to complete the work on time.

“Both of us are driven,” Kelsey said. “There is no such a word as failure for us.”

And looking back, they have no regrets about their decision to move to Summerland and take over the auto body business.

Over the years, he has worked to rebuild and repair plenty of vehicles, in Summerland and beyond.

He said each auto body repair job presents a new challenge for him and his team.

“It’s always a different puzzle,” he said. “No two cars are ever hit the same way.”

One of their staff members, Jason Mathers, has been at the shop for 20 years and has filled every role at the shop over the years.

Others on staff have also spent many years at Alder Street, and the Van Alphens refer to their staff as a family.

They also have brought in work experience students from Summerland Secondary School.

They see the work experience program as a way they can give back to the community.

The value of giving back to the community has also motivated Kelsey to volunteer with the Summerland Kinsmen and to spend time on the board of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce.

“My parents raised me well,” he said.

Kelsey and Katrina, who had both grown up in small communities, appreciate the small-town lifestyle they have in Summerland.

During their first week in Summerland, Kelsey said the community was much quieter than where they had lived in Calgary. “I couldn’t sleep. There was no noise,” he said.

Katrina added that the small-town lifestyle has been an ideal atmosphere for them to raise their children.

“We have a safe place for our kids to grow up,” she said.

They have a 10-year-old daughter, Kara, a seven-year-old son, Korbyn and a four-year old son, Kolton.

As a family, they enjoy camping and outdoor activities in the area.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Katrina and Kelsey Van Alphen consider their staff at Alder Street Auto Body as family. One of the team members has been with the company for the past 20 years. (John Arendt/Summerland Review)

Just Posted

Truck crashed and dumped near Predator Ridge

Police are looking for two men in connection with a stolen vehicle

Salt and Brick chef to compete in Canada’s Great Kitchen Party

Chef James Holmes will compete in the fall competition

UPDATE: Police swarm residence near UBC Okanagan, arrest 3 men

Five RCMP cars were seen outside 755 Academy Way Wednesday evening.

UBC Okanagan makes addition to womens volleyball, basketball

Lucy Faba and Amaya Perry will join the Heat next season

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Man seriously injured after driving wrong way down B.C. highway

Police say the driver hit a transport truck, then another car after merging from the off-ramp onto highway

Candidates ready for Summerland Blossom Pageant

Royalty pageant will be held at Centre Stage Theatre on May 3 and 4

Shuswap society finds pets often suffer in domestic abuse cases

SPCA, SAFE Society working together to provide shelter for pets of women fleeing abuse

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Give Canada geese at Okanagan beaches a break

LETTER: Tour busses, full of photographers, local goose guides and an annual goose festival

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Most Read