When Bennington Small Engine closed last year after 29 years in business, mechanic Bob Houmard didn't want to leave customers without a place to go.
“My dad decided, well, I still need a job and they still need somebody to bring their equipment to,” said Amber Severson, a Waterloo native and Houmard's daughter. So Houmard, who had worked as the lead mechanic at the repair shop for small engines, including lawnmowers, chainsaws and trimmers, opened up his own family-run shop, called FABBS Small Engine, in December at 2521 River Road Drive in Waterloo. FABBS sells and repairs small equipment, including Toro and ECHO items. FABBS stands for the members of the Houmard family: mom Frankie, Amber, Bob and son Brandon.
“We try to keep the same Bennington Small Engine values,” said Severson, who works at the shop as a bookkeeper and account manager. The shop has also incorporated some decor from Bennington Small Engine, including the old ECHO sign that used to hang there. The previous owners' son also works at the shop part time, Severson said.