Empire Automotive – About Us

Proudly Serving Petaluma for Over 30 Years

How It All Began

Chuck and Patty Robfogel first met in college, where Chuck was studying Automotive Technology and Patty was studying Business Management and Accounting. After going separate ways for a few years after college, they reunited once again in 1977, started dating, and were married in 1980.

Patty, working at Hewlett Packard as a Management Information Analyst, and Chuck, a technician at local Chevrolet/Cadillac/GMC dealership, decided they wanted to open their own family owned and operated business, and, in May of 1983, Empire Automotive was created! In the beginning, Chuck worked at Empire Automotive during the day as Patty continued her day job at Hewlett Packard (Agilent) and handled the shop’s bookwork at night. While Empire Automotive continued to grow, Patty and Chuck had 2 sons along the way, Nicholas and Christopher.

Continuing to Grow

As the business at Empire started to increase, Chuck and Patty hired additional staff until they got to their present crew. Now, Empire Automotive has 3 ASE Certified Master Technicians and 1 Apprentice Technician, 2 office staff members and one part-time bookkeeper. Chris, their youngest son, joined the team as Service Manager after graduating San Diego State College with a degree in Business Management in June 2010. Chris is working to soon begin leading the family business.

Looking to the Future

When Chuck and Patty aren’t running the shop, they are water skiing, horseback riding, and love spending time at their getaway cabin in Lakeport on Clear Lake. Chuck also has always loved racing- cars, boats, and anything else that has a motor! Up until last year, they enjoyed drag racing! Their main concentration is on the shop, but together, they are hoping to resume their favorite pastime again very soon!

Empire Automotive takes pride in having a wonderful customer base, and really tries to show their appreciation and interest in servicing all the needs to their customers!