History as a long-time cornerstone of Powerview’s business community, fondly remembered
January 11, 2019
By Don Norman
Pat and Carrie Peloquin have decided that they are no longer in a position to keep Powerfalls Autobody open. Two years ago, the Advocate reported that Powerfalls Autobody was no longer going to be doing MPI collision claims. At that point, the Peloquins had hoped to carry on the business doing custom paint jobs and MPI glass repairs, but in the end, they couldn’t make it work. On Dec 28th, 2018 Powerfalls Auto body closed its doors and the building was put up for sale.
Power falls Autobody was purchased in 1969 by two young men with young families. Donald Ogg and Edward Desautels. They bought the shop from Pete Peru who had operated the shop for about 6 years before they bought it. The building was small: just the front half of the shop as it stands now. Ogg and Desautels then doubled the shop space in the early 70’s when the addition was built including a new roof and a full paved lot.
In 1998 Patrick Peloquin and Sean Papineau bought the shop. They too made many improvements to the shop including a new spray booth and paint mixing room that was instrumental in establishing the shop’s reputation in the auto paint business. Sean Papineau left the partnership to pursue a new career in 2001. Pat and Carrie continued on with the shop for the following years.
Carrie Peloquin said that it was a tough decision to close up shop. “With so many changes in the automotive industry, the challenges of keeping our guys trained and our equipment updated was strenuous, she explained. “The new technology in the automobiles, with cameras and computers was becoming a challenge.” Some of these technological changes introduced by vehicle manufacturers (such as high-strength steel and aluminum trucks) required MPI to change their requirements for accrediting auto body shops to do collision repairs. Powerfalls was one of many small shops facing challenges to invest in and retrain their employees. “So as a shop we decided two years ago to stop our MPI collision accreditation, said Peloquin. “The investment into our equipment and the retraining or hiring of new staff was just not feasible for our family.”
Powerfalls remained in operation as a MPI glass accredited shop doing all glass repair and replacements and continued doing private work for their customers.
“We also took on some amazing projects, said Peloquin. “We worked with our local Winnipeg River Air to rebuild a plane.” They took on the role of painting the plane. “It was a Great job,” enthused Peloquin. “We continued to paint plane parts for Winnipeg river air right until our last day.”
They also took on some old car restoration jobs. “These were also all amazing projects that kept the shop on track.”
However, 2018 was their big challenge. After many months of trying to make things work out , they finally decided it was time to pull the plug. “It was a very difficult decision. One we pondered for over six-months. After 20 years of owing and operating this business it was a terrible decision to have to make,” said Peloquin. She said the decision was life changing but necessary. “At our age we needed to set a plan for growth. Our business was not supporting that,” she explained.
But even though the decision was necessary for them, she says they recognize the hole that it’s leaving. “We realize that this is a huge loss for the community,” she began. “But with that said we also feel good knowing that we have always run an honest business that served this amazing community for so long. We always took pride in every job we did. And we consider our customers our family and our friends. The support we have had over the 20 years has been so incredible. We take that with us and we are proud to have run this business.”
The Peloquins have listed the property with Re/Max Realty and hope that the prime location (on Highway 11, in the centre of Powerview) of the building will attract someone who can turn it into a great new business. “The lot and building are in an amazing location, which could provide a great opportunity to someone. The building has great potential and could be just about anything.” View the listing posted on the building or Contact Frank Lansard’s Re/Max Realty team at 204-294-5195 for more information.
“We thank the community. The businesses of the community and our family and friends for all the support over the years. Also, a big Thank You to Don Ogg and Ed Desautels for always being there for us.”