Celebrating Diversity: Valley Automotive Center | News


YAKIMA, WA – Solarity Credit Union and NBC Right Now are excited to celebrate diversity and support locally owned businesses in our community. That’s why every month we spotlight a new business and give a free month of advertising.

This month’s winner is Valley Automotive Center in Yakima.

Alfonso Botello the owner of Valley Automotive Center, has one goal…

“To get cars in, get them done correctly and get them out,” he said.

Botello grew up in Toppenish and moved back to the Yakima Valley, eventually starting his car repair business in 1992. He moved to the current shop in downtown Yakima 22 years ago.

“I love the community period,” said Botello Sr. “I like the weather. People say ‘why don’t you move south?’ No, I said this is my town.”

He started working at a young age with his family, the first time Botello Sr. can remember working was in the hop fields in Toppenish when he was eight years old.

“Two things, you go to work in the fields or you go to school,” said Botello Sr.

Botello said he and school didn’t get along, telling me that the adversity he faced in high school pushed him away from the classroom.

“Back in those days it was tough for Hispanics, young Hispanic kids,” said Botello Sr. “I went through a lot with some of the teachers.”

After getting drafted in the 1970s, he discovered his passion for fixing cars. Botello came back to Yakima and went to automotive school at Yakima Valley College.

“Well some of them are a headache but what makes me feel good is when a car comes in dragged in and then we find out the problem,” said Botello. “Once it gets out and it’s running nice it makes you feel good.”

For the last 15 years Botello’s son, Alfonso Botello Jr. has worked with his dad in the shop.

“That’s the greatest gift I can give to him is to be here and support the business until the end,” said Botello Jr. “He Made it so that my brother and I could go to college.” 

Botello Sr. said he got his will to work hard from his parents.

“My parents always pushed us to take chances whether it was working the fields where I started,” said Botello Sr. “Everything we did they always pushed us.”

When I asked how he felt about the award and the success of his business, he got emotional.

“I feel good… yeah… I feel real good,” said Botello Sr.

Valley Automotive Center is open Monday through Friday

7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Located at:

914 E. Yakima Ave.

Yakima, Wa.98901


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