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One of New Canaan’s most trusted auto repair shops has a new owner.
Steve Gaeta, longtime owner of C&H Automotive and Towing, recently sold the Main Street business to longtime General Manager Sean Brennan.
Brennan began working at C&H during high school.
“I started off pumping gas, he told the New Canaanite on a recent afternoon.
After graduating from New Canaan High School in 1991, he attended trade school to learn how to be a mechanic.
“Once I graduated that, I was in the shop at C&H as a mechanic,” he recalled. “I’ve pretty much been there ever since.”
Gaeta, the previous owner, had begun his career at the auto shop at 185 Main St. as a mechanic, similar to Brennan. Shortly after being hired, the former owners offered to sell Gaeta the business, an opportunity which he jumped on.
Gaeta spent his first decade of ownership running the business largely on his own, but in 2000, he began working as a career firefighter in New Canaan, leaving him with less time to dedicate to running the shop. Fortunately for Brennan, this change would lead to a promotion.
“He needed somebody to manage the business while he was absentee, so he asked me to do the job, and I came out of the shop, and became the general manager at C&H,” Brennan said. “Twenty years later, after managing it, I guess 23 years later after managing it, Steve decided to retire and move on, so he asked me if I had any interest in buying it.”
Brennan has been the official owner of C&H for more than one month now, having taken over the business June 1. He said he feels confident about the current direction of the business and has no major changes planned.
“The way the business model is now seems to operate smoothly and efficiently, so really no need to change anything at the time,” Brennan said. “I feel great, I’ve decided to push it along forward, and hopefully bright things to come.”