Meet the ‘Good Guys’
By Chris Skalkos
Good Guys Auto Glass, Charlottetown, PEI
By Chris Skalkos
Brooke Brehaut and Blair MacDonald are the good guys behind Good Guys Auto Glass in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
|Brooke Brehaut (l) and Blair MacDonald are the operators of Good Guys Auto Glass in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. The two friends became business partners in 1992 after opening their own autoglass shop.|
Brooke Brehaut and Blair MacDonald are the good guys behind Good Guys Auto Glass in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. The two business partners had been friends and golf buddies for several years before they partnered together to form their own autoglass shop in 1992 after some career changes, and their combined experience in the automotive industry, offered them the opportunity to work together.
Brehaut has always been a ‘car and motorcycle buff’ working part-time announcing drag and stock car and motorcycle races and enjoying a short semi-professional career in motorcycle racing highlighted by a CMA Regional Expert 250cc ice racing championship in 1977. He worked for Bombardier at the distributor level and sales manager at a local car dealership, while MacDonald was the manager at a local outlet of a national autoglass chain for several years before he hit a turning point in his career.
“I remember Blair came by to pick me up for a golf game on a day he should have been working. He showed me his termination letter and said ‘we should go into business together’,” says Brehaut.
“I made Brooke an offer he couldn’t refuse,” MacDonald recalls. “I asked him: ‘Do you want to make a million dollars and have fun doing it? We had fun, but we haven’t made a million dollars.”
MacDonald was finally free to pursue his dream of having his own business. “I had 10 years of experience in this industry and it seems that a lot of people who work in the glass industry eventually end up going into business for themselves because it makes sense. They have gained the contacts, the experience and knowledge of the industry. Even if I knew then what I know now I would still do it,” he says.
|Brooke Brehaut also enjoyed a career in motorcycle racing highlighted by a CMA Regional Expert 250cc ice racing championship in 1977.|
They opened their shop under the name of Glass Masters in Charlottetown, but it was not in an ideal location because they were located too close to other autoglass companies. When one of them closed in 1992, Glass Masters quickly moved down the street from their original location. In the meantime, they were approached by a friend who wanted to sell his windshield business which was a franchise store, offering them ‘first dibs’ on buying it, which they did.
Business was good and increasing in that first year of operation, so the partners decided to expand into Montague, a small community of 3000 people located on the east end of the island. They hired Sam MacPherson and Louis Cann, experienced glassmen and friends of MacDonald’s and the rest is history. “That was the best move we ever made, we got the best guys in the world and 14 years later they are still with us,” says Brehaut.
|Blair MacDonald was the manager for an autoglass franchise before a turning point in his career prompted him to open his own autoglass company.|
The company operated the new shop in Montague strictly as a service centre, with all of the administrative work done in Charlottetown so MacPherson and Cann could focus on what they do best, servicing customers. Brehaut explains that operating a successful company in a small community depends largely on the personality behind the counter. “Getting Sam and Louis on-board was an instant benefit to us because of their reputation in the community, which is typical in a small province like Prince Edward Island. Repeat customers are a regular part of any business, so developing customer loyalty is important. In small communities, customers want to identify with the personalities and they relate to people they know,” he says.
In 2005, Brehaut and Macdonald took another big step, becoming an independent operation and changing the name to Good Guys Auto Glass. “We are east coast islanders and we are the good
|A cut out ‘stand-up’ sign points customers to the ‘Good Guys’ in the autoglass industry. The company wanted a name and logo that conveyed a first class image as well as their fun-loving east coast personalities.|
guys. That’s what we want to convey to our customers,” says MacDonald. “We registered the name and a friend designed our logo. It was important to us to have a name that gave us a first class company image and conveys that we do nothing but the best for our customers. It also gives off an aura of friendliness,” he says. “Given a choice, customers always want to buy from the ‘good guys’.” -end-