Bucks Auto Parts
Quebec auto parts store in running for national business award
By Sam Laskaris
Frank Buckshot believes there’s a rather simple reason why he has managed to become a successful businessman.
“I think it’s the service we give,” said Buckshot, who has owned Buck’s Auto Parts since 2015 on Quebec’s Kitigan Ziti. “People keep coming back.”
Buckshot, a 62-year-old who has owned a handful of different successful businesses, is being recognized for his auto parts and body shop, located on his First Nation of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg.
He’s one of two finalists for Cando’s Indigenous Private Sector Business award this year. The winner and runner-up will be selected at the Cando Conference, which will be held Oct. 27-30 in Gatineau, Que.
Cando is an organization which promotes Indigenous economic development across Canada. Besides the private sector business award, the annual conference also recognizes recipients in the economic development officer of the year as well as community of the year categories.
Buckshot is not a relative newcomer to the auto parts industry. He previously owned Mani Pieces Plus, from 1997 through 2015, in Maniwaki, about one kilometre from his current business.
He sold Mani Pieces Plus so he could open Buck’s Auto Shop, right across the street from a successful sports store which he has been operating since 2006.
Buckshot also continues to run a seasonal brush cutting business, from May through October.
Buckshot believes the fact he provides quality service and that those customers spread the word is one of the reasons his auto parts and body shop is successful.
“It’s who you know all the time,” he said. “The best publicity is word of mouth.”
Buckshot said some of his customers travel great distances.
“I have a lot of customers from James Bay,” he said. “They have 10 Cree bands there. A lot of them come to Ottawa to shop and they have to pass through Minawaki. They don’t have very much up there. They live 1,000-2,000 kilometres away. Some of them drive 15-20 hours to get here.”
Buckshot, a self-made successful businessman who has just a Grade 9 education, believes the fact he is fluent in three languages – English, French and Algonquin – is a huge benefit when talking to his customers.
Buckshot is also looking forward to attending the Cando Conference. Besides giving a presentation on his business, he’s also keen to network while at the four-day event.
“I’m hoping to meet people and make contacts,” he said.