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Spirit of Acadiana: Remembering a dad named Dave

A Legacy Honored At Dave's Car Care Center
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Posted at 7:01 PM, Jun 16, 2021

LAFAYETTE, La. — On the one hand, we could just talk about the 65th anniversary of 'Dave's Car Care Center', which is certainly a big accomplishment. But with this being Fathers' Day Week, we thought it was very important for you to meet and hear about Dave himself.

"Who was 'Dave'?" asks Charlie Dugas. "My father. My dad. Father. A grandfather. Loved what he did. Entrepeneur. Many things, many things."

It's clear that Dave Dugas did it well. He owned and operated Dave's Car Care until about 2005, and the lessons he passed along to his son Charlie have proven to be invaluable.

"That it's about trust when you're working with people and building long-term relationships. Once you earn someone's trust, it's to keep that trust and not to let 'em down. And if you make a promise, you keep it."

It's tough to replace a legend, and when Charlie bought the business 15 years ago, he felt the pressure, the pressure of living up to all his dad had accomplished.

"Knowing the people in the community and the responsibilities that he had, you're gonna see these people everyday?" remembers Charlie. I ask him if he was nervous when he took over, and Charlie laughs. "Yeh, I was nervous. Absolutely. Big responsibility."

Signs of Dave are seen at the Pinhook shop and now the newer location on Ambassador. Invariably, customers still call and ask for 'Dave', something Charlie thinks is very, very cool.

"I'm flattered, I'm honored. I really am. I think he'd be proud, with the state of the business, the state of the company and where we're going."

And about that 'Dave' thing? "I don't correct people when they call me 'Dave'," smiles Charlie. "I say, 'Yes, I'm Dave."

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