Galen Guidry loves what he does for a living and he has no plans to retire anytime soon. In fact, if the owner of Today’s Car Care has his way, he’ll be training mechanics years down the line at the age of 90.
But while Guidry, now 50, is enjoying the moment, he’s also making plans for the future — and actively laying the groundwork for it.
Today’s Car Care will be moving its store from its current Boutte location to one in Luling, located at 90 Mimosa Ave. (Hwy. 90). Guidry is hoping to open the doors of his new digs in October. The impetus for the move was to create more space and allow for expansion — TCC will be adding a collision department upon landing in Luling—and also having the ability to go from renting his current building to owning the new one.
“Every mechanic wants to build his own shop,” Guidry mused. “Fortunately, we’re in a situation where we can.”
More importantly to Guidry, owning the new store location will allow him the stability to one day pass the business down to his daughter, Bailie, and her husband, Brody, to keep the family business going for the next generation and hopefully more to come.
“The second I purchased the business I started thinking about what happens 10-15 years from now,” Guidry said. “My thought is, instead of selling, I can hand it over to my daughter.”
Guidry followed in his father’s footsteps entering this line of work, which he not only considers his occupation, but a passion and hobby. He started working at his father’s shop at the age of 12.
“I was born into it,” Guidry said. “My wife has to force me to take vacations as it is. The biggest thing is to be able to keep this business functioning so where I have somewhere to go over next 30 to 40 years. And I like the concept of being a part of something bigger than yourself.”
The new store will have an additional 3,500 square feet of work area. Guidry said the plan is to build the store a bit bigger than currently needed as to cover any kind of expansion going forward.
“I don’t know if I could do this again,” he said about the process of moving the store.
He said the Luling location will allow Today’s Car Care to provide full service to its customers, so each of them “will not have to leave here, because we can do everything you need.”
“We’ve done a lot of technical and suspension work for body shops over the years, airbags, electronics, alignments … so we’re not very far away from that as it is,” he said. “I’m very excited to be able to offer more services for our loyal customers.”
One thing that sets Guidry’s business apart from many others is that he trains his own workers. He also believes in paying them well, so that investment of time pays off and the staff is continually high quality. Establishing trust is a big deal with him as well; Guidry very much believes in maintaining consistency in pricing and services offered, ensuring customers know where they stand.
“I don’t want to be in the bait-and-switch business,” Guidry said. “I like my clients to choose me and to keep choosing me. A lot of places will give you a great deal on an oil change or tires, but they make that money up (by charging more) elsewhere.”
Part of keeping that trust is being upfront with each customer. Guidry said he instructs his staff to let a customer know right off the bat what can and can’t be done with their vehicle, eliminating most situations that would see a car or truck “in the shop” for an extended period.
“I think we’ve earned ourselves a strong reputation,” Guidry said. “I’ve been here on the highway, on the frontline, for years. If you’re not providing a real value for your customers, you won’t stand the test of time.”
It helps that he has capable people leading both his current and long-term visions. Service manager Greg Townsend and Brody Bourg, Guidry’s lead technician, run the shop when Guidry is away on other projects, such as the current store-moving operation. Bailie, meanwhile, oversees the businesses’ finances. And Guidry’s brother Jason, who serves as the K9 Lieutenant at the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, will soon be retiring from that occupation to join the family and help run the new body shop.
“We’re a family-oriented business, both in our staff and in how we treat our customers,” Guidry said. “Success means nothing if you can’t share it with others. What better way to assure future success than to have people you truly love and trust be a vested part of your business.”