My Shop Auto Service
Darrell Duplessis, a veteran of Desert Storm, had a great business idea he just couldn’t shake. For years it tumbled around in his head. Finally in 2011, he made the leap and bought some real estate in the 7th Ward to open My Shop Auto Service.
The shop is unique. Duplessis claims he knows of only two others like it in the country. He’ll fix your brakes, mend your tires or change you oil, but if you’d rather, you can rent one of his six bays and do those jobs yourself.
“This is for the average Joe,” he says. “The tools are free. It’s $10 per hour for a bay and $20 per hour if you also need the lift. It’s a smart thing to do. I make some money and you save some money. Everybody’s happy.”
Duplessis not only came up with this business idea, he built the structure, which fills an entire city clock, by himself. It even includes a basketball hoop where neighborhood teens play hoops when business is slow. Along with these kids, who are apprenticing the trade, Duplessis has two full-time employees.
He also believes to be a good businessman no space should ever be wasted. A few years ago, he opened a kitchen and sells such things as hamburgers, breakfast items and, of course, the ubiquitous snoball.
“We’re right next to St. Aug’s practice field so I decided to turn what was once my waiting room into a kitchen,” he says. “Because I discovered there’s no money in waiting. It doesn’t bring in a lot of money but even if I only make $50; it’s $50 I wasn’t making before.”
His entrepreneurial spirit doesn’t end there. Duplessis has plans to hold classes this summer for teens and women who want to learn how to fix their own vehicles.
“It’ll be a basic class, Mechanics 101. I think it’s a good thing for women to know. Don’t you agree?”
He knows his business is a good idea but doesn’t envision ever turning it into a franchise opportunity.
“I would want to do it exactly right and it would be a lot of work. I’m satisfied with my business,” he jokes, “If I want to franchise I have all the way to the corner to do it.”
My Shop Auto Service
716 Saint Bernard Ave