Auto Service Professional

OCT 2018

Magazine for the auto service professional

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T Toby Cossette, co-owner of e Main Street Garage in St. Augustine, Fla., obtained an associate of arts degree from North Dakota State College of Science. However, he followed his passion and served as a master technician for import and exotic import diagnostics and repairs at Sports Car Engineering. For one year he was a full-time Formula Continen- tal sports car road racing driver and service tech. He also worked for many years as a master tech for GM, Mazda and Chevy dealerships. In his own words, he explains his journey to shop ownership. "Within St. Augustine, U.S. 1 is named Ponce De Leon Blvd. aer the Spanish explorer who explored and named this new land 'la Florida,' which is now our state name. We are located less than two miles from what he claimed was a 'Fountain of Youth.' is site, along with the existence of the oldest stand- ing school building in the U.S., which is located in downtown Old St. Augustine, attracts thousands of visitors yearly and many must drive right past our business. is provides us with ongoing expo- sure and helps draw business from those tour- ists who break down while visiting. "I opened the shop, on my own, in 2010. Back then I was service technician, recep- tionist, accountant, clerk and cashier. Fortu- nately, the business has steadily grown, and we now have three full-time employees. "In mid-2015, an opportunity arose for me to purchase the property. Unfortunately, I was not in a financial position to purchase this prime location. It was then that my father, LeRoy Cossette, and his wife, Lynn Adams, stepped in with the needed finances and we formed our part- nership. I knew then that this repair shop was here to stay. "I am ASE Master Certified with L1 advanced certification. I also am GM Master Certified and Mazda Certified. e other certifications with oth- er manufacturers are not worth mentioning since they carry no weight. I will not hire any tech with- out at least 10 years full-time experience due to the 28 A S P O c t o b e r 2 018 B u s i n e s s P r o f i l e A shop owner driven to succeed The Main Street Garage: building a dream level and variety of vehicles we service. We work on everything including, but certainly not limited to, Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Toyota, Porsche, Jeep, Ford, Honda and Land Rover. "I am one of the few who still works on all the classics and custom-built vehicles such as a 1949 Desoto, a 1973 Charger, 1932 and 1925 Rat Rods. We have the knowledge and equipment to address every module on the new vehicles but still rebuild carburetors and distributors on the old vehicles, such as 6-volt systems, 12-volt systems, and positive ground sys- tems. Yes, we do! "Gross profit is only running about $1,223 per month due to extensive purchas- ing of new equipment and tools. However, that figure is steadily climbing every single week. Our average expenditure on tools and equip- ment over the last two years has been about $12,000 each year. "We are very thorough on our diagnostics and guarantee, to our customers, that 'if we diagnose an issue and perform the necessary repairs based on that diagnosis, should it subsequently not repair the issue presented, the customer will not be charged a dime for that repair!' We never replace parts based on a fault code! "I absolutely love what I do and could never imagine doing anything else. Unfortunately, far too COURTESY STEVE WALKER A relatively small shop in terms of square footage, business has been increasing at a brisk pace as the shop's reputation expands. Toby Cossette

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