From left: Michael Berounsky and Jason Berounsky. Photo by Christine Carignan.
While a catchy ad jingle (“Our commitment to you is no accident”) has made Ben’s Auto Body well known on the Seacoast, many may not know the history of the family behind the Portsmouth-based collision repair shop.
Ben Berounsky, (great grandfather of current owners and brothers Michael, president, and Jason, vice president), was a partner in a Massachusetts garage when he saw an opportunity to open a business in Portsmouth, which at the time had no auto and truck repair shops, just the local blacksmith.
In the 1960s, their grandfather, Henry, purchased 20 acres. “When my grandfather bought the property in ’64, his business associates told him he was crazy as no one would want to drive out here for service,” Michael says. But that purchase was fortuitous as the area became a commercial district, one of the first lots sold to McDonald’s. Henry Berounsky went on to become a community leader and served as president of the chamber during the ’60s.
The full-service shop includes several departments, such as metal work, paint, mechanical repair and detailing. The brothers, now the fourth generation to run the business, started out as kids sweeping the floors. Michael attributes their success to customer service and the employment of skilled and dedicated workers. “Not everyone can work here. We need people with an eye for detail,” he says.
Ben’s repairs 1,300 to 1,400 vehicles annually and takes pride in caring for its 17 employees by paying 100 percent of health insurance costs, as well as disability and life insurance, and offering a profit-sharing plan plus extensive training. Seacoast Media Group has named Ben’s Auto Body the best repair shop for 10 consecutive years.