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San Clemente Times

10-Year Anniversary
Courtesy Automotive Services, Inc.
2229 S. El Camino Real

Richard Lapham, owner of Courtesy Automotive Services, Inc., has operated his business since 2008. It was an automotive shop when he acquired it, but after some time the previous owners were looking to move on.

But Lapham himself was not in the automotive industry; he was in business consulting but said he wanted to own an enterprise of his own.

Owner Richard Lapham and his wife, Sandra, have worked at Courtesy Automotive Services, Inc. for the last 10 years. Photo: Eric Heinz
Owner Richard Lapham and his wife, Sandra, have worked at Courtesy Automotive Services, Inc. for the last 10 years. Photo: Eric Heinz

“What happened was that I found this was available, I knew something about automotive repair and the industry itself, so we came to terms and I bought the business,” Lapham said.

Since his acquisition a decade ago, he said he’s built up a reputation that has helped further his business. The name Courtesy came from a very organic source.

“I thought it was a good name,” Lapham said.

Building relationships with his customers and recruiting capable technicians who could fix a variety of vehicles were challenges at first, but he eventually found the right model to sustain both.

“I tell customers every day: If it’s a safety issue, you’re going to get it fixed, anything else you make the decision of what you want to fix,” Lapham said. “That philosophy, people like. It gives them ownership over their service.”

Lapham said he charges a flat rate: $110 per hour. He said the technicians he’s recruited are able to work within specific timeframes to ensure the rate is the same for all customers. There isn’t a car he can’t service, he said.

“We’ve been a family business since its inception,” Lapham said.



New Business
Schonberg Design
1507 Buena Vista, Suite No. 8, San Clemente

Dan Schonberg, a new local graphic designer, has worked to achieve local notoriety, designing logos, websites and marketing strategies for local businesses over the last year. According to a press release from the business, he has risen to the top of Google’s search results in that time.

Schonberg Design, the company, is aimed at creating visuals and marketing materials for local businesses, and Schonberg said he has done so by trying to enhance the visual presence of local firms and assisting their search engine optimization (SEO).

Schonberg has created logos for Firehouse Ribs and More, as well as Little Amigos South America and works pro bono for the I-5 Freedom Network, all based in San Clemente.

Dan Schonberg. Photo (If not used as a mugshot): Courtesy of Kait Mckay Photography
Dan Schonberg. Photo (If not used as a mugshot): Courtesy of Kait Mckay Photography

“I’m a graphic designer by trade, but my background as an artist and photographer gives my work that extra edge that makes customers stop and pay attention to a business,” Schonberg said. “My focus is right here in San Clemente. I love this town and have lived here for years, and I want to help our community thrive. If I can make a living while doing it, so much the better.”

Schonberg Design’s services include: graphic design, brand strategy, website design, website development, creative writing, photography, social media marketing and SEO.

“Creating trust for local small businesses by designing visually stunning brands and providing unique marketing strategies is what we do best,” Schonberg said, “and our search placement reflects that.”

Schonberg lives in North Beach and has been a San Clemente resident since 2012.

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