By BRIAN SMITH
It was a dare Andy Fenus was glad he accepted.
Fenus has always wanted to own his own business, having worked at Chris’ Muffler Shop on Fort Worth Highway since he was in high school, starting as a part-time and moving up over his 20-plus years there. After getting experience, he felt he was ready to move out on his own.
“I began talking about it around a year ago, but kept on going back and forth about it,” Fenus said.
Enter Wes Miller, a friend of Fenus’, who had been listening and talking with Fenus about getting an exhaust business started. While opening a new business being tough in this economy, Miller urged his friend to take a leap of faith, in a somewhat unconventional way.
“I dared him to say he wanted to open his business one more time,” Miller said with a smile. “He said it and here we are today.”
A&W Exhaust opened Feb. 10 at 2049 Farm-to-Market Road 920, just past Cartwright Park Rd. The building was already there and little if any renovation needed to be done, Miller, who said he spends half of his time in the oilfield business and admitted it’s that business that is keeping the business afloat in its opening weeks and months.
“We are making payroll,” Miller said with a laugh.
Fenus brought his long-time friend Durant Beauchamp to come to work with him. Fenus brought Beauchamp aboard at Chris’ Muffler Shop as well.
Custom exhaust work, including that for diesel engines, is only part of what goes on there, with catalytic converter installation, brakes, shocks and struts also being done. The shop will also check those pesky “check engine” lights at no charge with all work being guaranteed.
The exhaust work at A&W is made easier by having one of two pipe benders in the state that allows for square pipe bending. Miller said the business has been approached to bend pipe for the roll cages inside race cars.
As with any new business, the hope is to expand one day. Miller said the building is being leased right now with the hope of putting some money together to build something.
“That is a couple years down the road,” Miller said.
The business is up and running in many things, with a website under construction. The business is on Facebook (A&W Custom Exhaust) and has a number of things including photos of their first customer and work getting the business ready.
A&W Custom Exhaust is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday but appointments are available on Saturday. The shop is closed Sunday, so the men can spend time with the Lord, Miller said.
For information, call 817-609-8001.