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After retiring six years ago, Tony Pesce is back in the automotive business — this time focusing on passing the torch to the next generation.
Pesce has been in the business 37 years. He started working at a Shell station on the corner of Corydon Avenue and Waterloo Street in 1979. Three years later he purchased another shop on Academy Road where he opened Tony’s Academy Auto Service.
Through the years, Pesce added more locations to the Tony’s Academy Auto Service brand until 2016, when he sold his shops to enjoy the perks of retirement.
But when his son, Anthony Pesce, told him that he was thinking of opening up another automotive shop and the opportunity arose to return to their shop on Chevrier Boulevard, Pesce said he knew it was time to jump back in.
“I said to my son, ‘I’m going to help you,’ but I’ve been here every moment since we took over the store mid-July,” Pesce said with a laugh. “I was never just sitting around (in retirement), I was always doing something — that’s just in my nature. It’s been a bit of an adjustment coming back but I love what I’m doing. I’ve never had a problem getting up and going to work every day. I enjoy the industry.”
Now, Tony’s Academy Auto Service Chevrier is growing quickly as long-time clients have returned and word has spread the Pesces are back in the business.
The Tony’s Academy Auto Service on Academy and the location on Henderson are still going strong since new management took over in 2016, Pesce said, adding he’s very proud of the brand his family was able to build over the years.
“When you’re able to start a business 40 years ago and it’s continuing on today with a lot of room for growth, I’m especially proud of that. We’re excited about it,” Pesce said. “We’ve always invested in equipment and in our staff so we have the resources to best take care of our customers. This isn’t new for us, we have a lot of experience.”
For Anthony, stepping back into the shop with his Dad is just second nature. From a young age, he recalls spending time in the shop, learning from his father and the other technicians.
“It’s been going really well,” Anthony said. “I get to see my Dad every day and we have a great relationship … it’s always been easy-going between the two of us.”
Anthony started washing cars when he was 15 years old, he said, and worked his way up from there to get his certification. After many years of working as a technician, this is his first time running the show.
“It’s been going really well,” Anthony said. “Every day is something new, every day is a new challenge. I would like to see (this business) grow. I want to make the shop the best it can be.”
“It’s his business, It was never myself. I’m working for my son right now,” Pesce said. “We’re fortunate that we’ve always been able to work together and never had a problem. I love working with my son.”
Both father and son agree they’d like to see the business continue to grow, but are focused on providing quality, experienced service for anyone stepping through the door.
“You want to trust the people working on your car,” Pesce said. “I always say if you have a mechanic and you’re happy with them, stay there. You should stay with people who are looking after you. If for some reason you’re not happy or are looking for someone, then reach out. We can look after you.”
If you’re in need of auto maintenance or repair, you can reach Tony’s Academy Auto Service Chevrier at 204-284-7100 or through their website, www.tonyschevrier.com.
This article is produced by the Advertising Department of the Winnipeg Free Press, in collaboration with Tony’s Academy Auto Chevrier