When Dan Fluker started Dan's Auto Repair in Blue Ash 39 years ago, there were lots of businesses owned by African-American entrepreneurs in the TriState.
What sets the business apart is that it has survived and thrived under the Fluker family's ownership for all these years.
"This is an example of what businesses need to do – especially black businesses – in order to increase our economic empowerment," said Jim Clingman, author of the syndicated newspaper column, Blackonomics, and a founder of the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce. "The unusual part is how they've been able to keep it going."
The body shop is located on Vorhees Lane between Blue Ash Road and Sycamore Road, where it has been from the start. Dan Fluker started the shop in 1975. Johnnie Brown, his wife Lillie's brother, joined him at the business the next year.
The two men had worked together at the former Kenwood Chrysler-Plymouth dealership's body shop, which Fluker had managed for 15 years before launching his own place. Lillie Fluker managed the office, kept the books and handled payroll for the shop.
Brown, now in his 70s, still works at Dan's full-time.
That doesn't mean the business hasn't changed over the years, said Danzivor Fluker, Dan Fluker's son. He has been running the business since 2006 when his father stepped down from the CEO role for health reasons.
Insiders can read about how Dan's Auto Repair has changed over the years and what customers have to say about why they keep going back to the family-owned shop.