Business Comings: Long Time Valley Local Opens King’s Quality Auto in North Bend

Gary King has been in the Snoqualmie Valley since he was six. He, like many others, remembers a simpler time before Safeway and Mcdonald’s were on the scene. A time when there was a three-ring circus every summer where the Outlet Mall now stands.

King graduated from Mt. Si High School in 1995 and decided to attend Universal Technical Institute in Arizona, where he got his associate’s degree in Automotive Technician Training. He then took the Ford Graduate program, which provides a variety of rotational job assignments, and received numerous Ford Credentials.

Gary then switched gears and moved to Alaska to be a wildland firefighter for a year. At the time, King was battling addiction and decided to try and run away from his problems. In the end, what happened was more drinking and fighting fires.

King had an epiphany that he could make a real living using his skills and brains. A couple of years later, he got sober and changed his life. He is now almost five years sober and a million miles from where he started.

After moving back to the Valley, King met his fiancé (and mother of his newborn twins) Stefanie Price in recovery. When the couple first met, she lived at Mamma’s Hands House of Hope, a Domestic Violence Shelter for women and children here in the Valley. King offered to help with repairs and the women there. Says Price, “His enormous heart for helping others is one of the many reasons I fell in love with him.” 

Gary started a nonprofit called Adventures in Sobriety with Tamara Nielsen that put fun activities on for people in recovery. Price attended one of their events and became a board member.

Price is now three years sober; the couple has been best friends for four years and together romantically for two. Stefanie just started working in the shop as an administrative assistant and says, “to be honest, I have NO idea how he did this by himself for so long! It’s a lot of work but really fun.” 

Since 1998, King has been steadily working as a mechanic. First for car dealerships and then as a mobile mechanic, which he says was “tough and brutal braving the elements.” Even so, he’s contemplating keeping that service going but will limit it to batteries, alternators and lockouts if he does

In 2019, King started working out of his Snoqualmie home garage as a single bay shop. The couple painted the walls, epoxied the floors, added new lighting and put in a lift. Says Stefanie, “everything Gary does, he gives 100 percent. His shop is a reflection of the expectations he has for himself. He wants to give the best service he can.”

For a few weeks, the business was affected by Covid, but King pushed through, working endless hours and was able to start planning for a larger space. He had his eye on a shop down the road from their home, so Stefanie tracked down the owner, and after “incessant contact,” the couple began preparing to move to the new five-bay space in March.

On June 11th, with the Sno Valley Chambers’ help, the couple had their Grand Opening at 1208 Bendigo Ave North, and he says his workload has increased tenfold. King says they are currently hiring skilled, experienced ASE-certified technicians and are in the process of getting a dealership license to sell vehicles in the lot out front.

You can check out King’s Quality Auto on their website or Facebook page. Good Luck with your new venture, Gary & Stefanie!

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