::this post ID is 6558::::in categories of ..Automotive....Featured Franchise....Features..::

Brothers go into business together for Maaco

Maaco1_LRBy Nick, Walter and Carmen Mirante
As teenagers, we were always enthusiastic about buying, selling and working on cars, so it only made sense that when we went into business together as adults, we would buy a Maaco franchise here in Edmonton. Having changed locations once, we’re now so busy throughout the year, we’re looking for an opportunity to expand.

We’ve always lived in Edmonton. Our parents moved to Canada from Calabria, Italy, when Carmen was born. They were old-school and very family-oriented. We always had meals together.

As a child, I spent much of my time playing soccer, going fishing and playing hockey. Walter, who was closest to me in age, was into the same things.

With Carmen, though, there was a 16-year gap, so he already had different interests. We would see him doing paint touch-ups on his car. I always enjoyed watching automotive work.

Our parents ran a couple of fast-food kiosks. One was a donut shop, while another served cheesesteak sandwiches. They were both in the same food court in Edmonton’s Northwood Mall, so when we helped out after school, we could run back and forth between the two counters.

I enjoyed that business because there was an abundance of food whenever we wanted, but I didn’t like how busy we got with it. I was just working there to help my family out.

Shortly after I was out of high school, when I was 18 or 20, I realized I didn’t enjoy working in the food-service sector and it felt like a jail to me. I instead pursued work in the automotive industry.

Maaco5_LRWe were already doing automotive work as a hobby on the side. We were always buying and selling cars and experimenting on them. Then we saw the opportunity to own a Maaco franchise in Edmonton.

We had seen ads for Maaco and knew how big they were, but we had no personal history with the brand. We did want to team up with a big, national franchise chain, so we would get training and a system to work with.

We visited and toured a few of their franchises around here and asked the franchisees questions, but there were no surprises. In the end, we had our heart set on Maaco and we went for it.

I’m the youngest brother. I’m 32, Nick is 34 and Carmen is 45.

I never took automotive classes at school. I was more into math and English—but like my brothers, I was always interested in cars as a hobby. I remember watching Carmen wash his sports car in our driveway. After our experiences in food service, I wanted to pursue my passion by working in the automotive industry.

When the Maaco opportunity arose, I did some research into it. It was the chance to take over an existing franchise in West Edmonton. The previous owner’s sales weren’t the greatest and he wanted to transition into a different career.

Back then, in 2004, there weren’t a lot of automotive franchises around yet, but we knew we wanted the perks of being under the franchising umbrella. We spoke to the Canadian managers at their head office in Milton, Ont.

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