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Inside Bulloch Business with DeWayne Grice - Auto Shine owners come home to Statesboro

Inside Bulloch Business with DeWayne Grice - Auto Shine owners come home to Statesboro

Inside Bulloch Business with DeWayne Grice - Auto Shine owners come home to Statesboro

DeWayne Grice


        A sparkling clean car always makes your day a little brighter.
        And with the recent acquisition of the Statesboro Car Wash, beside Panera Bread, by Eddie and Darnett Coleman, that becomes much easier. Opening Auto Shine is a long-awaited homecoming for the Coleman's who met at GSU. Growing up in the business, it seemed natural for Eddie to follow in his father's footsteps. He knew there was a need for a high quality, high value car wash in Statesboro.
        After his efforts to purchase the original car wash on South Main fell short years ago, an opportunity presented itself in Garden City. Eddie Coleman then expanded to Savannah, Rincon and Hinesville before "coming home" to the Boro, making it the sixth in his Auto Shine chain. Eddie, his brother Paul and sister Sandy were all at GSU in the late 80s, which is where I first met them. Now their son Lance is a student at GSU.
        Eddie became legally blind after suffering from Stargardt's Syndrome as a child and currently he is in remission from throat cancer. But his energy and enthusiasm remain boundless.
         "One of the first things we did was focus on readjusting the customer intake and flow to make the process more transparent and efficient," he said. "We know to be successful, we have to offer a very good inside and out wash for $20 in less than 20 minutes."
        Eddie went on to discuss the biggest difference in Bulloch County from his other South Georgia locations is the high number of dirt roads and lots more bugs. That makes it necessary to clean your car more often, so customers can upgrade any full service wash for $9 and get unlimited exterior washes free for the next 30 days.
        He also noted that many of us like to have our car washed at the same time - during our lunch break. Noticing that it was taking longer during lunchtime, Auto Shine partnered with Pizza Hut to offer hot, fresh pizza in the lobby from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
        Sharon Hagan, a longtime customer said one of the noticeable improvements was the increased number of staff and their attention to detail. Eddie explained that many operators rely too much on the automatic portion of the wash. He said because cars are not all the same, it is very labor intensive to make sure you get them spotless.
        They are honoring any plans that were purchased from the previous operators and continuing the operation of the quick lube center. To maintain the focus on the car wash, Coleman brought in Larry Campbell, who he has worked with in other markets, to operate that portion of the business.
        Also, giving back is very important to the Coleman's. They offer a unique fundraising opportunity that is extremely popular in their other locations. Schools, churches and charitable organizations sell a coupon for a $20 car wash.
        The wash is good for one year at any Auto Shine location. For every coupon they sell, the charity gets 50 percent.     However, if the coupons are used on a pre-designated day for that particular charity - they get to keep 100 percent. In addition, charities are allowed to come on site and sell food during the designated day.
        Alan Drummond, a wash pass customer since 2010 was thrilled with the changes.
        "The level of detail is amazing and the prices are less," he said. "They take you to your car and walk around the car with you, allowing you to inspect it to make sure it meets your expectations. They really want you to be happy."

        Please email DeWayne at dgrice@statesboroherald.com or give him a call at (912) 489-9499.

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