Right before Destin was even a city, Rhodes Auto Repairs was correcting and hauling vehicles in the fishing village.
Luther and Donna Rhodes opened the auto repair and wrecker provider in 1973 at 327 Mountain Travel, and on March 17, Rhodes Auto Repairs will rejoice 50 years.
Despite the fact that Rhodes no extended owns the small business, it continue to carries the household title and is run by Ben Causton, who obtained his get started alongside Luther as a teenager.
Causton, 44, started out doing work at Rhodes when he was in substantial university at Fort Walton Beach at the age of 16 and then component-time although in college.
On the other hand, he constantly knew he would one working day have the repair store.
“I told him when I was a child that I was heading to purchase it a single working day. … He just laughed at me and claimed get again to perform,” Causton explained.
A lot more about Rhodes:The 1st 45
Causton received his degree in 2003 from Florida Condition University in enterprise administration and went to function on the company aspect of NAPA Automobile Areas. For the subsequent 15 a long time, he and his spouse and children moved all around from Tennessee to Texas.
“We always retained in contact,” Causton said. When the Rhodeses would journey in their motor household, they would appear by for a go to and lunch.
“We just retained in call … and I advised him if you ever want to sell it, you greater tell me,” Causton explained.
“He eventually named me 1 working day and explained he was ready to promote it,” Causton explained, noting they produced a offer in 2018.
And he’s hardly ever regretted it a single working day. “Absolutely not,” Causton explained.
“I like it. … No one to inform me what to do any longer,” he laughed.
“I can do what I want to do. I like aiding individuals, but I labored for company so prolonged … you have a boss, that boss has a boss. You have to shave and have on extravagant dresses. That is just not me,” he stated.
“I really don’t like the business office things. I like currently being hands on,” Causton reported.
He also likes the concept of not possessing to travel and not possessing to shift to get promoted. And the reality that his little ones can remain and go to the educational institutions he went to.
Causton went to Destin Elementary and Bruner Center mainly because there was no Destin Middle Faculty at the time. Then he went to Fort Walton Seashore Large.
He stated when they moved back again to Destin, his youngest at the time was in the same classroom he was in at Destin Elementary, but with a various trainer.
And when he acquired the business, it never crossed his brain after to improve the identify.
“Luther and Donna are like grandparents to me. … I would under no circumstances adjust the title. Why would I modify the title? The easiest thing to do is buy a organization that by now has some thing and double it … and we’ve doubled it,” he claimed.
“Last year we doubled the most we’ve ever finished … it is ridiculous,” Causton said.
“But he’s youthful and he’s not worried,” reported Terri Rose, who has been an administrator at Rhodes for much more than a 10 years. “Mr. Rhodes saved all the things on an even keel.”
As for Causton, “I do not notify anybody no. I’m like the Statue of Liberty … provide me your bad, your whatsoever. Then I sense negative when men and women inform me they are broke … and I finance stuff for persons.”
But Causton is nonetheless carrying the torch of the Rhodes legacy in Destin.
On March 17, Rhodes will celebrate 50 decades.
“That’s it, we’re dwelling it out,” claimed Donna, who hardly ever considered it would make it this prolonged.
“But I’m delighted to have it going on this prolonged,” she reported, noting they did a great deal of small business above the yrs.
For the 45th anniversary of the store, Donna reported they had a contest to see who experienced the oldest function get.
“Mel Larid received it,” Luther mentioned.
Donna attributes the several several years of company to “customer relations.”
“Everybody was like a buddy, and we did the finest we could with selling prices,” Luther stated.
“And when anyone wanted enable, we have been always there for it,” he said.
Luther recalled obtaining a client split down in Tallahassee, virtually a few hrs away, and he went and hauled him back to Destin.
He experienced a further customer with a Lincoln that had gone to Alaska. The customer was obtaining a dilemma with his motor vehicle, so he termed Luther. Luther instructed him what he needed to do, and the buyer went back again to the male who was functioning on his vehicle and passed on the facts.
“He was back again on the highway in about 15 minutes,” Luther claimed.
Rhodes realized his prospects and his autos.
“We were being constantly distinct that the work was completed and performed ideal,” Luther reported.
As for Causton using around the small business and carrying on the Rhodes legacy, “I believe he’s going to make it. Just like I experienced a lot to study when I started off, he’s obtained things he’s heading to have to master as perfectly,” Luther said.
And Causton thinks hugely of Luther as very well.
“I feel each and every male or boy requires a father, but they also will need a mentor which is outside of their father … and Luther was that male for me,” Causton reported.