For The Love Of Cars
A passion for cars is not a generational thing. Some people seem to be born with it, while some develop it once they get the privilege to drive, or maybe someone in their lives provides the influence.
How it Began
Duane is a born car guy. From playing with an extensive collection of matchbox vehicles as a small child to evolving into refurbishing various VWs as a teen, to having that influential person say, why don’t you look into this up and coming car company called Lexus? And so it began in 1996 for nearly 14 years, Duane learned and grew with the Lexus of Tampa Bay store. He achieved his ASE Master certificate as well as earned all the highest honors for Lexus knowledge and workmanship to become Lexus Master Certified. When it came time to move on, Duane joined an independent repair shop in St. Pete, where he was exposed to all the inner workings of running a business. This position became the catalyst for Duane’s Dealer Alternative in Safety Harbor, FL, as we know it today.
On A Personal Note
While Duane’s professional life grew, so did his personal life. Getting married and having a son transpired before he jumped all in into the entrepreneurship world. Duane supported his family while his wife Kimberly left corporate America to be home with a new little boy Ezrah for a couple of years. When Kimberly received the opportunity to return to work with her previous employer, Duane now had the perfect opportunity to build the auto repair business he envisioned.
With the knowledge and confidence that he could handle all the routine maintenance and repairs he was used to doing for an employer, Duane used his phenomenal people skills to build a business. His priority is to be honest and fully transparent with each and every customer. This has served us well, with much of our business being built from word of mouth from happy customers. What started out as a one-man, one-bay shop in 2010 has evolved into a 3.5 person, three-bay shop fully equipped with all the necessary tools and equipment to rival most factory branded dealerships. While we are experts with Lexus & Toyota, we are happy to service most makes and models often, making us your one-stop for all your family’s vehicles.
Growth & Contribution
In more recent years, Kimberly left corporate America (again!) to help with the admin side of the business to let Duane focus on customers & quality work. We are thankful to have employees that share our vision and have helped us immensely as our company continues to grow. We strive to support our community and our industry by supporting Pinellas County public school’s internship programs and have sat on the Auto Advisory board at Pinellas Technical College.
Experience A Genuine Connection
Our dedication shows in everything we do. Duane & Kimberly will be celebrating 18 years of marriage, with a soon to be teenager, an energetic Doberman, lovable terrier, and adorable hamster. Through all of life’s challenges, we have been there for each other, and we will be here for you!
While we may lack a posh lobby or free loaner cars, we have a comfortable waiting area, and we will accommodate your scheduling needs as best we can. Be assured you are working with car people that value your business, and we welcome you to our family!
While routine maintenance and repairs are the main focus at Duane’s Dealer Alternative, we are also able to help people buy or sell a vehicle. We provide performance modifications to your car and offer expert opinions to a plethora of car-related questions. Come check us out to see how we can be of service to you!