Business Matters: Toguchi Body Shop

Business Matters

HONOLULU (KHON2) — It’s never any fun to get into a fender bender, or worse while driving.

It’s usually not very fun or cheap to fix. But if you live on Maui, there’s a decade-old family business that you can trust to do a great job at a fair price.

The team at Toguchi Body Shop have made Valley Isle vehicles like new again, for more than 60 years.

Started by Masa Toguchi in 1958, the body shop primarily focused on restoring rusted out WWII surplus Jeeps.

And the business has been on the rise ever since.

“Maui has been very good to us and we been able to grow with the community as our population has grown over the years,” said Daniel Toguchi.

Daniel Toguchi, who now oversees the shop, says the company’s big break came about 20 years ago when he was able to expand from a single building to two side by side structures.

“All of our magic really happens over here. And the other side is actually a prep and paint department,” he said.

Today he says the business is heavily invested in the best equipment possible. Tools to take care of everything from dings to more heavy-duty repairs.

“We try not to buff. That’s one of the goals that we set.” Toguchi said. “There are three stages to this. This is the final coat and if you look at it closely it’s virtually flawless.”

Perfection is something Daniel strives for with every car that passes through his shop. While good equipment helps, he says his greatest investment, has been in his employees.

“It’s not me. It’s my guys and they have a great deal of pride in what they do and they’re very good technicians. But the best part about them is the very good people that make this business so much more enjoyable.”

His son Brent, decided the join the family business a few years back.

“It’s the legacy,” Daniel said. “I never thought I was going to be doing this. Dad set it up pretty good I came inside. We were three for people at that time and it’s grown quite a bit over the years.”

“This is something that I wasn’t sure I was going to do I was in college and I did decide to, later on, I want to help my dad out also when my grandpa was around,” said Brent Toguchi.

And with a young son of his own on the way, Brent knows there could be a 4th generation Toguchi running the family business one day.

But for now, the focus is simply on delivering “Good as new cars” back to their owners.

“The best feeling is getting a hug at the end from that aunt or uncle handshake to tell you the car looks better than new pair or just really happy to be able to help and provide that service for everyone,” said Brent.

And like the business that was handed down to him, Daniel looks forward to handing the keys over himself one day.

Just not anytime soon.

“I’m going to be like my dad,” he said. “I’m gonna be watching them for a long time before I do retire. But when I do, I know they’re gonna be very capable.”

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