Ronnie’s Collision Center is the product of a dream and a whole lot of hard work. Ronnie and Karen Poche opened their business in 1998 after Ronnie retired from 30 years of dirt racing Super Late Models. Though he traveled across the country to compete, he and Karen stayed firmly planted in their hometown of Natchitoches.
Ronnie Poche’s shop, DBA Ronnie’s Collision Center, is still operating at 209 Ralph Street in Natchitoches.
Ronnie got his first taste of mechanic work at a young age. His passion was passed down from his father, who Ronnie would help in the shop behind their home. When he started driving, he continued working on vehicles.
“It was always our dream to own our own business,” said Karen, who worked for Dr. Brazeale for 46 years. When the Collision Center opened, she doubled down on managerial work to run the front desk at the shop as well.
They also made plenty of time for family, which includes their two daughters and three grandchildren.
“It’s kept both of us pretty busy but we’ve continued to work hard,” Karen shared.
When they first opened, there were very few collision centers in town. Ronnie thought he could fit the bill for the mechanic industry and build a better life for his family in the process. Today, Ronnie’s Collision Center offers collision repair and body work, expert painting, and windshield repair and replacement. It helps that they have wonderful employees that work as a great team, certified technicians and a great manager, Johnny Overstreet. The Collision Center is fully insured and work is guaranteed.
When a customer picks up their car, they’re often surprised to find it washed and detailed.
“We take pride in our services and the cars that leave our shop,” said Ronnie. “It’s just one more part of the quality of work we do.”
Through the years, Ronnie and Karen have enjoyed living in Natchitoches and being a part of the community. The Collision Center has been a member of the Chamber of Commerce since 2007, and a sponsor of Natchitoches’ annual Classic Car Show. They also support Northwestern State University and other local businesses in an effort to grow the local economy.
“Our business has grown every year, but for us it’s about more than that,” said Ronnie, who has trained countless employees through the years with the necessary skills to excel in the mechanic field.
“It’s part running a business and part educating the next generation to carry on the torch,” he added.
And when you’re running a business you’re in charge of everything from setting the rat traps to making sure every customer leaves satisfied.
Ronnie knows cars from the ground up, ask any customer.
Taking things a step further, Ronnie’s Classic Rods operates in the back of the shop with the help of John “Red” Wallace, a top notch classic car technician. This allows Ronnie to pursue his love of cars in two ways. While the Collision Center is full throttle on repairing vehicles, Ronnie’s Classic Rods breathes new life into classic cars.
“It’s important for us to see the smile on our customers’ faces when a job is finished,” said Karen. “It’s especially rewarding when we run into people on the weekends or after hours and they come up to us and thank us for how great their car looks. It means the world to us.”
Ronnie’s Collision Center is still located at 209 Ralph Street, serving customers from 8 am – 5 pm, 5 days a week.
For more information call 318-352-5959. All insurances are accepted. Call today for a free estimate.