Devotion and Drive in a South Texas Garage
It is said that the backbone of any community are the local businesses which provide a space for growth and mentorship which in turn help succeeding generations prosper.
Housed in what was originally a mechanic shop, this small garage embodies a sense of community and camaraderie where locals gather in the early morning hours, with coffee in hand and reminiscence about bygone memories. Happily married for 22 years, Juan and Perla Flores found devotion for family and friends and a drive for customer service.
How did you decide on the location of your business?
We opened shop on January 1st of 2000. When I began looking for a location to house a mechanic shop, I searched around town and kept driving by our current place. It just didn’t draw my attention; I actually did not like the location. Other buildings would catch my eye, but with our budget, we could not afford them. So we took a chance and set up shop here and I’m glad to say this location has worked out very well for us. This building used to be a mechanic shop named Aquirre Garage Auto Body Shop back in the 1940’s and 1950’s. When we moved in, I found quite a bit of blank invoices tucked away in a drawer.
How do you build a successful customer base and achieve long-term success?
Providing the best customer service we can is how we have built our customer base. We give our customers 100%. Sometimes our clients are in need of transportation to our garage or need their vehicles towed and we try to respond and help the best we can. We want our customers to feel comfortable. Our belief in being respectful, loyal and honest has rewarded us with long-term success with loyal customers and a continued flux of new customers.
How far are you willing to go to succeed?
It took us three years to see profits for our garage. Initially, we kept 20% and reinvested the remaining revenue back into the shop. I spent most of my time at the garage working early mornings and late evenings, seven days a week for several years. It was a huge sacrifice. Perla always made it a point to bring the kids by the garage since I was at work before they woke up to go to school and in bed by the time I got home. Even though it was tough, over time, our business grew and I hired employees to help with the workload and reduced my schedule to 5 days a week.
What sort of resources (not just financial) did you have when you started your business?
We had nothing but my basic toolbox I received through financial aid from TSTI (Texas State Technical Institute). We took all our knowledge and work experience and put it into the business.