Customers can watch the rollers, brushes and bubbles at Classy Chassis’ tunnel wash convert their vehicles to sparking clean automobiles.
They can also get their vehicles vacuumed, or serviced, or they can pick up a cup of espresso and a pastry at the Lakewood business’ specialty coffee stand - Classic Coffee. But more than anything, what customers get is quality service guaranteed- a value that owner Corey Campbell first instilled in his employees since he started doing business in Lakewood nearly three decades ago. Generations of customers and staff can attest to that commitment to customer service, something that Campbell says is a great source of pride, especially in the Lakewood community. “We’ve been very community-centric,” Campbell said recently from Classy Chassis’ flagship location at 7701 Custer Rd. W. “It’s about having a pulse on the community and the community having a pulse on us.”
If anyone would know about Lakewood, it would be Campbell.
A Lakewood resident since 1990, Campbell’s first incarnation of Classy Chassis was of the mobile variety. At only 16 years old and operating out of his car, he would drive to various locations and offer on-the-spot car detailing services, and many of his business opportunities were in Lakewood. After college, he continued the detailing business, this time, operating from a panel truck and expanding his services to include car washing.
Eventually, Campbell opened a retail location in Lakewood and later moved operations to his campus off Custer Road West.
The road wasn’t easy, Campbell recalls.
“I had 14 banks tell me it’s a risk for a 24-year-old to go and build out something that’s heady and never been done before in this region,” he says. But more so than any building or mobile wash, Campbell says one of the biggest keys to the longevity and success of Classy Chassis has been nearly 1,000 full-time, part-time and seasonal staff whom he’s employed over the years. For many of them, Classy Chassis was their first exposure to responsibility and accountability - another detail that makes Campbell extremely proud. Some employees turned the opportunity into lifetime careers. Campbell says his Classy Chassis has been more than a successful business endeavor. It has been a place where many young people received the foundations of a professional career and strong family values.
“This is a family business,” he says. “We really try to be a mentor and leader in their [employees’] lives.
Today, Classy Chassis offers state-of-the-art, professional washing and detailing, express lube services, coffee and refreshments on its campus. For many in Lakewood and beyond, it has become a regular stop, where workers recognize customers’ names and faces. In all, it offers a combined six full- and self-service locations in Pierce County. Campbell says the community has been extremely supportive, which is why being a community-oriented business is so important. Classy Chassis offers year round fundraising for non-profits, free car washes for members of the military on Veterans Day and actively supports community causes. Over a half-million dollars has been donated or given in kind to the communities. Campbell is a well-known figure among local businesses. That isn’t likely to change anytime soon, says Campbell, adding that Lakewood offers a great climate for small businesses. Much like it has during its initial 25 years in Lakewood, Classy Chassis will continue to evolve and adapt, and by doing so impact the lives of its employees, as well as the Lakewood community as a whole, for the better.
For its longstanding and continued success in the community, the City of Lakewood recognizes Classy Chassis as its December 2016 Business Showcase.