Proper earlier than Destin was even a metropolis, Rhodes Auto Repairs was correcting and hauling automobiles within the fishing village.
Luther and Donna Rhodes opened the auto restore and wrecker supplier in 1973 at 327 Mountain Journey, and on March 17, Rhodes Auto Repairs will rejoice 50 years.
Although Rhodes no prolonged owns the small enterprise, it proceed to carries the family title and is run by Ben Causton, who obtained his get began alongside Luther as a young person.
Causton, 44, began out doing work at Rhodes when he was in substantial college at Fort Walton Seashore on the age of 16 after which component-time though in faculty.
However, he continuously knew he would one working day have the restore retailer.
“I advised him after I was a toddler that I used to be heading to buy it a single working day. … He simply laughed at me and claimed get once more to carry out,” Causton defined.
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Causton obtained his diploma in 2003 from Florida Situation College in enterprise administration and went to perform on the corporate side of NAPA Car Areas. For the next 15 a very long time, he and his partner and kids moved throughout from Tennessee to Texas.
“We all the time retained involved,” Causton stated. When the Rhodeses would journey of their motor family, they would seem by for a go to and lunch.
“We simply retained in name … and I suggested him in the event you ever need to promote it, you better inform me,” Causton defined.
“He ultimately named me 1 working day and defined he was able to put it on the market,” Causton defined, noting they produced a supply in 2018.
And he’s rarely regretted it a single working day. “Completely not,” Causton defined.
“I prefer it. … Nobody to tell me what to do any longer,” he laughed.
“I can do what I need to do. I like aiding people, however I labored for firm so extended … you might have a boss, that boss has a boss. It’s important to shave and have on extravagant clothes. That’s simply not me,” he acknowledged.
“I actually don’t just like the enterprise workplace issues. I like at present being fingers on,” Causton reported.
He additionally likes the idea of not possessing to journey and never possessing to shift to get promoted. And the fact that his little ones can stay and go to the tutorial establishments he went to.
Causton went to Destin Elementary and Bruner Heart primarily as a result of there was no Destin Center School on the time. Then he went to Fort Walton Seashore Giant.
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He acknowledged after they moved again once more to Destin, his youngest on the time was in the identical classroom he was in at Destin Elementary, however with a numerous coach.
And when he acquired the enterprise, it by no means crossed his mind after to enhance the establish.
“Luther and Donna are like grandparents to me. … I’d by no means modify the title. Why would I modify the title? The best factor to do is purchase a group that by now has some factor and double it … and we’ve doubled it,” he claimed.
“Final yr we doubled essentially the most we’ve ever completed … it’s ridiculous,” Causton stated.
“However he’s youthful and he’s not nervous,” reported Terri Rose, who has been an administrator at Rhodes for way more than a ten years. “Mr. Rhodes saved all of the issues on a good keel.”
As for Causton, “I don’t notify anyone no. I’m just like the Statue of Liberty … present me your unhealthy, your in any way. Then I sense damaging when women and men inform me they’re broke … and I finance stuff for individuals.”
However Causton is nonetheless carrying the torch of the Rhodes legacy in Destin.
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On March 17, Rhodes will rejoice 50 many years.
“That’s it, we’re dwelling it out,” claimed Donna, who rarely thought of it might make it this extended.
“However I’m delighted to have it occurring this extended,” she reported, noting they did quite a lot of small enterprise above the yrs.
For the 45th anniversary of the shop, Donna reported they’d a contest to see who skilled the oldest perform get.
“Mel Larid obtained it,” Luther talked about.
Donna attributes the a number of a number of years of firm to “buyer relations.”
“All people was like a buddy, and we did the best we may with promoting costs,” Luther acknowledged.
“And when anybody wished allow, we have now been all the time there for it,” he stated.
Luther recalled acquiring a shopper cut up down in Tallahassee, nearly just a few hrs away, and he went and hauled him again to Destin.
He skilled an additional buyer with a Lincoln that had gone to Alaska. The shopper was acquiring a dilemma together with his motorized vehicle, so he termed Luther. Luther instructed him what he wanted to do, and the client went again once more to the male who was performing on his automobile and handed on the information.
“He was again once more on the freeway in about quarter-hour,” Luther claimed.
Rhodes realized his prospects and his autos.
“We had been being continuously distinct that the work was accomplished and carried out supreme,” Luther reported.
As for Causton utilizing across the small enterprise and carrying on the Rhodes legacy, “I imagine he’s going to make it. Identical to I skilled lots to check after I began off, he’s obtained issues he’s heading to should grasp as completely,” Luther stated.
And Causton thinks massively of Luther as very properly.
“I really feel every male or boy requires a father, however in addition they will want a mentor which is outdoors of their father … and Luther was that male for me,” Causton reported.