The business owner overseeing the expansion of the Honest-1 Auto Care facility in Blaine on University Avenue has very diverse experiences so he can better support his family.
Evan Staples of Brooklyn Park continues to work full-time helping people invest in mutual funds at Nuveen Investments, but he chose to purchase the Honest-1 Auto Care business at 10705 University Ave. NE Feb. 20, 2012 because he wanted another stable income to support his family. His wife Jessica and he have an 18-month-old daughter, Brynn, and another baby is on the way.
“It’s been a great experience and learning opportunity,” Staples said. “Everyone talks about wanting to open a business. To see that through is fun and exciting.”
The Honest-1 building was once home to a Crown Auto service shop and then a Movie Gallery. The building now has five auto repair bays and will get another four during this expansion, according to Staples.
There are seven full-time employees of which four are mechanics and three work in the office and front desk. There is another part-time employee who will be going to full-time and Staples said he may hire a ninth full-time person.
Staples is very pleased with how well the business has been received by the community and that is why the expansion is taking place. When a business reaches a space saturation point it could raise prices, but he felt expansion to serve more customers would be the best route.
Staples received his undergraduate and master’s degrees in business administration from St. Cloud State University in 2004 and 2005, respectively. He was an adjunct professor of finance at his alma mater for six months starting in the fall of 2005.
At the age of 16, Staples knew he wanted to work in the financial field. He wanted to trade stock himself in his later high school years, but legally could not do so until he was an adult, so his father co-signed a brokerage account. Staples invested a couple of thousand dollars of his own money, but his father would have been liable for the losses if there were any.
Staples first went to work for RBC Capital Markets before joining Nuveen three-and-a-half years ago.
Although he continues to enjoy working in the financial industry, he was concerned that his job security was tied to how well the stock market was doing. He wanted a more stable second income.
“I was looking for a way to diversify and protect my family,” he said.
Staples considered owning a restaurant, liquor store and a gas station before he chose the auto repair industry. His reasoning was that even during a recession, people need to get their vehicles fixed.
Although he was accustomed to evaluating how a company was performing financially, opening a business was more complex because it involved real estate, purchasing fixtures furniture and hiring employees. He attended multiple small business seminars to get help from people who knew more about owning and operating a business than he did. He hired his manager from Pep Boys.
Staples made sure the waiting area was a clean and comfortable environment for customers and he hired people who would be honest and communicate well, he said.
“It’s rewarding to see customers have a good experience and leave happy,” Staples said.
Eric Hagen is at