Andrew Kane (or Furry as everyone knows him) operates his mechanical repair business, Ferrule Engineering, at YREC in Warburton, where he has been the tenant of workshop number 1 for the past five years. “If it has a starter motor in it, I can fix it,” Andrew says. He tackles the smallest jobs to the largest, with an easy ‘can-do’ attitude. Lawnmowers, cars, trucks – his long-standing reputation as the ‘go-see’ guy in Warburton is well deserved.
‘I don’t do words that much, but I do machines!” he laughs, a man who gets the job done for hundreds of loyal clients in the Upper Yarra. “My business has grown and grown. I’m so busy all the time now,” he says. “The location of YREC makes me super accessible and affordable, and it’s good for everyone.”
Furry’s mechanical history stretches over several decades and includes a six-year stint working at Melbourne Airport. “That daily commute cured me of driving,” he says and the decision to establish a small workshop from home and simplify life was one that suited him for many years. But five years ago, when the continuation of his business was challenged because he could no longer run a mechanical workshop in a residential area, his search for appropriate premises to continue serving his customers took him straight to YREC. “Actually, there weren’t many choices at all – this was the ONLY place I could find that was suitable!”
He enjoys the natural camaraderie with the other tenants and has seen the YREC tenant base grow significantly since he joined the YREC family. “It’s great that people can come and see me for car stuff, go off to Shannon to get a new key cut, and then get some upholstery repairs with Joshua at the one place. We’re becoming more and more a one-stop-shop!”
When you come to visit Furry, you may also get to meet his rescue bull mastiff ‘Hooch’ who holds the fort at the front of the workshop. Bringing your dog to work, having a short 7-kilometre commute and knowing what you do is all part of being a close-knit community are what makes YREC work for Furry. “You see businesses come and go in a small town, and being here has just reinforced to me how important it is to stay local. The money you earn gets spent here and keeps the local economy moving. It keeps a community alive.”
“Life is good,” says Furry, who is ‘famous in Warburton and the Upper Yarra’. And if you ask him how he got his nickname, he might just tell you it was a name he earned from the past owners of the Reefton Pub, 26 years ago. “…and I’m too ugly to shave!”