By Lee Wardlaw
Green COVE SPRINGS – The sign outdoors of Emmitt’s Car Maintenance on U.S. Freeway 17 tells motorists the store is on vacation. The iconic auto mend shop specializing in brakes, steering and suspension set to reopen on Jan. 3.
But for the initially time in 50 decades – 22 of them north of metropolis restrictions, it will be in the hands of a new owner.
Through a much more than 50 percent-century operate in Duval and Clay counties, Emmitt’s saw a blessed time of company and relatives-helpful assistance to prospects at the shop, with the Rigsby’s setting up a enterprise design like no other for the duration of their time in North Florida.
With Teresa Rigsby heading into retirement, she made the decision to switch the small business over to anyone else. Leaving a legacy that took generations to make, on the other hand, won’t be straightforward.
Next the passing of her husband, Teresa not only had to run the store’s funds but she was thrust into a normal manager’s purpose, as very well.
She now will wade via a working day-by-day therapeutic approach even though continuing to devote valuable time with her grandchildren.
“One working day at a time, and my grandkids,” she explained.
It will be up to the new owner to manage a conventional that took a long time to create.
The status that founder Emmitt Rigsby, who then handed the torch to his son, Matthew, proven was that of difficult work, toughness and a belief in having the work completed at all expenses.
When mechanic Matthew Rigsby died on Aug. 3, 2020, the county not only missing a great mechanic but a bigger-than-daily life determine in the neighborhood whose memory will for good be remembered.
He served as the lifeblood of the auto restore shop his personality shone by at all moments. He was excellent at repairing a auto, and no matter of the situation, he often was straightforward about the position of their ride – all whilst locating a way to make it possible for his simple-lower, and brutally trustworthy, identity to shine via.
“It was his way, or no way,” Teresa Rigsby, his late spouse, claimed laughingly.
Hundreds of citizens Have walked within the doorways of the auto shop. One of the longtime prospects has been the Clay County Sheriff’s Business, which receives all of its consistently-scheduled alignments accomplished there.
Prospects came from all about Florida and out of state, Teresa claimed. Emmitt drew this kind of a cult next that one resident who moved to Louisiana would make the journey back again to have his vehicle serviced at Emmitt’s.
“Matt was incredibly professional. He realized every thing going on in that shop. He touched each individual automobile and made certain it was ideal when it went out of the driveway,” she reported. “(The neighborhood) thought in him.”
Residents have reliable in Rigsby’s automobile information, but it was a phenomenon that went substantially deeper than possessing a clean established of wheels on the highway.
“My husband was difficult, and he ran a tight ship. But absolutely everyone came to him for information, and all the things that he said was like liquid gold. Consumers would just occur and pour out their hearts to him, and he would take the time to converse to them. They would come to him for everything, even spouse and children problems.
They appreciated his boldness. They understood the place he stood, and they preferred it,” Rigsby claimed.
New ownership will have the gain of holding two of Emmitt’s leading mechanics. Lead technician Rick Santillo and mechanic John Holmes will be retained as the organization moves into a new era of providing rapidly, welcoming and faithful client company. Amongst the two, they have worked for more than 37 yrs at Emmitt’s.
Teresa reported one of the disorders of the sale was each individual of her comprehensive-time employees would be retained.
“I built certain that my men had been certain jobs. And I promise you the (new operator) wanted them,” Teresa explained. “I want all of my individuals to know that Rick and John will nevertheless be there. They have that level of belief in people fellas.”
Teresa experienced a final concept for her family’s loyal prospects, stating:
“I just want to thank you on behalf of my father-in-law, partner and the full spouse and children. I want to thank you for all of these many years of coming to us. I just want to reach out and touch them, and ease their thoughts. Give the other business a opportunity due to the fact my guys are remaining there.”