You might not expect a 71 year-old widow and her daughter to be at the helm of one of the oldest and most successful body shops in Hendersonville, but that’s all in a day’s work at Rivergate Body Shop.
Ruth Gann and daughter Pam Barrett operate the local business, along with Barrett’s husband, Joe, who serves as manager. The business was named after Gann’s late husband, Robert.
“Back then, my husband had opened it for Rivergate Lincoln Mercury to do their body work,” Gann said. “When my husband bought them out, we took off the Lincoln Mercury and that’s how we came up with Rivergate Body Shop.”
Gann said the people have made her career in the business particularly enjoyable.
For Barrett, a lot of the satisfaction comes from presenting the finished product to the customer.
“I love to see the faces of the people when they pick up their car, and it looks like it was never wrecked,” Barrett said.
Being a part of the company also gives her an inside track on the uneasiness that seniors and women sometimes face as customers in the auto body business, Barrett said.
“The women and seniors know that when they come in here, we will take more time with them and explain everything, even if it takes an hour,” Barrett said. “Men — they don’t usually have that much patience with people.”
Photo by Ë™Â·â–ª-â— Peyman â—-â–ªÂ·Ë™