Coastal Body Works Has Rich History
Coastal Body Works Inc. in Pensacola, Fla., has a rich and colorful history - just like the city in which it is located.
Pensacola's history dates back 450 years. In 1559, it became the first European settlement in the continental United States. Spanish, French, British, United States and Confederate States flags have flown over it at one time or other. The city, which connects to the Gulf of Mexico, is known for its pristine beaches and as the "Cradle of Naval Aviation." The Pensacola Naval Air Station (the first in the United States) is where the National Museum of Naval Aviation is located. It's also the home of the legendary Blue Angels.
Coastal Body Works' history doesn't go back quite as far as the city in which it is located. But it does date back to 1954, and it's now being run by the third generation of the Boyd family.
William Garvin "Dub" Boyd founded it as Boyd's Paint and Body. It began as a small, three-bay shop in downtown Pensacola. But it soon began to grow because of Boyd's emphasis on customer service.
In the late 1960s, it became a family business when Boyd's two older sons, Bill and Dan, began working for their father. Boyd died in 1967 and Bill and Dan took over the family business, forming Coastal Body Works in 1969.
Both brought a great amount of experience to the business. Bill taught auto body repairs at Pensacola Junior College and was president of the Southern States Body Shop Association. Dan taught automotive repair at a local high school.
Involvement of the family continued as Rick Boyd and Dixie Morris joined the business in 1981. Both Rick and Dixie are still active in the firm. Rick is a younger brother of Bill and Dan. Dixie is Bill's sister.
When Bill and Dan retired in 1999, the family business continued under the ownership of Bill and Dan's younger brother, Rick, and Bill's son, Travis. Rick had worked his way up to shop foreman and Travis was the main estimator.
Travis began working at the shop in the late '80s following graduation from Pensacola Junior College. With his extensive experience with computer programs, Travis played a key role in moving the business toward computer-based estimating.
Another family member, Justin Boyd, joined the company in 2005 as an estimator following his graduation from the University of West Florida with a bachelor's degree in business administration. Justin is Rick's son.
So Coastal Body Works is very much a family-owned and operated business. Its reputation for treating customers well prompted business to continue to grow, increasing the need for more work space.
In the spring of 2004, Coastal Body Works opened a new 8,000-square-foot wing complete with new state-of-the art frame machines. In 2006, Coastal Body Works launched its new, interactive Web site, www.coastalbody works.com. AutoInc. in 2008 named the shop's attractive, comprehensive Web site as one of the nation's Top 10 Web sites.
"All of these changes have helped Coastal Body Works become what it is today - a fully equipped collision repair facility with 22 of the most skilled and talented employees in the area," says Travis.
Coastal Body Works is proud of its family history. "We're also proud of the fact that many of our employees have been with us for more than 25 years," Travis says. "We feel the family environment gives our customers peace of mind, because they know their vehicle will be repaired with utmost care. I think being family owned and operated definitely sets us apart from other collision repair shops in the area."
Coastal Body Works offers collision repair, windshield and glass replacement, paintless dent removal and automotive detailing.
It also offers its full support to customers and their families. Its pride in the community it serves shows. The shop supports many youth activities and high school programs.
Obviously, things are going well for Coastal Body Works. But having been in business as long as it has, the shop has seen some "bad times" too. One of the worst challenges it has had to overcome came in 2004 when Hurricane Ivan devastated the area. Ivan did more than six billion dollars in damage in the metro area, destroying more than 10,000 homes and heavily damaging another 27,000. Coastal Body Works' original structure, including 10,000 square feet of roofing, was badly damaged. The shop was without power for two weeks. Facing up to the challenge, Coastal Body Works moved everything into a new building it had just added on and used diesel generators for power. "We stayed in business," says Travis, "but it wasn't easy."
What's ahead for Coastal Body Works? "We're still growing into that 26,000 square feet of floor space," says Travis. "So we'll just keep on treating customers right and doing the best job we can. We'll keep on doing what we are doing."
That philosophy and the rich heritage of a family working together has brought Coastal Body Works to where it is today. And you can bet the family will keep it going.
Name of Shop: Coastal Body Works Inc.
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