April 15, 2024

Building a New Path for Themselves and Their City

SpeeDee new store model

Two SpeeDee owners overcame the challenges of opening after a natural disaster

Don Juneau and Keith Voorhies are joint owners of a SpeeDee Oil Change & Auto Service® store in New Orleans. Their partnership is an example of opportunity and shared vision, which helped them overcome the challenges of a post-Katrina city to establish a thriving SpeeDee business.

Photo credit: TireBusiness.com SpeeDee owners Don Juneau and Keith Voorhies

Photo credit: TireBusiness.com
SpeeDee owners Don Juneau and Keith Voorhies

In the aftermath of the hurricane, the city of New Orleans faced unprecedented challenges. Keith, an existing SpeeDee owner, had a shop in the suburbs, so he was able to continue operating. 

Don, on the other hand, found himself at a career crossroads when the dealership where he worked couldn’t reopen immediately. He worked temporarily at dealerships that weren’t affected by the flood, but he felt ready to run his own business.

Beginning a partnership

The two men didn’t know each other, but their mutual friend, Ron, worked for SpeeDee. Ron introduced them, and as the two men got to know each other, they realized they would be good business partners. 

Their collaboration began with the purchase of a SpeeDee store that had been closed for about a year and a half after the storm. With Keith’s experience within the SpeeDee system and Don’s on-the-ground involvement, they were able to reopen the business.

After Katrina

Even after a year and a half, few businesses were open in the city. “They were just starting to make a comeback. That’s how devastated things were,” Keith says. “The people in the city were eager to have us open.” 

Keith says that many businesses stayed closed for a long time after Katrina, but their SpeeDee location was in one of the areas of the city that recovered more quickly than most.

“For those that could open, the opportunities were there. We were lucky that we landed in the right spot at the right time,” he says. 

When they reopened the store, it set record sales.

Great support system

Both men say they’ve received a lot of support from the SpeeDee home office over the years.

“They were there with me for every step of the way,” Keith says about opening his first SpeeDee store. “They sat with me for an unlimited amount of time. When I felt ready, they gave me space. It takes a lot of fear out of the process.”

SpeeDee offers one-on-one training and help for new owners. Development team members from the SpeeDee home office helped Keith set up the shop, set up inventory, and taught him how to control inventory. 

Don agrees. “SpeeDee is there for you with the training. The resources are there, but they also give you the space to run your own business how you see fit as long as you follow the system. They know it’s a proven system that will work and lead you to success,” he says.

“There are so many people who have tried to go out and do it their own way — thinking they know everything. SpeeDee has a proven method.”

How to do business

When asked for advice for new owners, Don says, “Don’t think you’re going to do it part time or at your leisure. Put your time and effort into it. Become part of the community. People love to be known. To any new owner coming in, definitely be at the shop. Get to know your customers.”

Don and Keith both have received Franchisee of the Year awards — four times for Don and five for Keith. The partners say they’ve just signed a new 10-year lease agreement for their store.

Learn more

To learn more about the opportunities with SpeeDee, download our free business model ebook. To see what single- and multi-unit territories are available, click here.