Local Business

The Barber Family’s Success Comes From More Than Just Selling Cars

For any business to stay around and be successful for 40 years there has to be something special going on in how it’s run and what it does. It would be easy to just dismiss a car dealership staying around for 40 years because it sells cars and everybody needs a car.

There are many car dealerships and not all of them last 40 years and through generations in the same family. This car dealership has lasted, grown and is still around because of how Dewey Barber built the business and the values that everyone working for him needed to have to make the dealership thrive by being centered around helping people and giving back.

His son, Scott Barber, now runs the dealership the same way. He learned that from a father that had his son in the dealership from the time he was 12 years old. Those same values were taught and ingrained in the son. They were valuable lessons in the right way to treat folks and be successful.

It means something to local folks when a business sponsors events around town and supports local youth sports and many other activities.

Local folks who put their money back in the local community. It matters and it is just one of many reasons that Dewey Barber Chevrolet has been around for 40 years. It’s not just about the cars. Dewey Barber did things the right way and his son Scott took those lessons and is building on them as he prepares the 3rd generation of Barber’s to carry on the family business.

Scott, many folks in our area know your family and Dewey Barber Chevrolet but, for those who may not, tell us a little about you, your dad and how your car dealership started?

My father purchased the dealership in 1980 from Walter Calvert. The old dealership was located on Main St. in Warrior. We stayed there for about 5 years before moving to Hwy 31 and I65. We stayed there approx. 30 years before moving to Gardendale in July of 2013. I started working with my father in 1980 at the age of 12, washing cars, cleaning up, changing oil and being a gopher for everyone there. We started with 8 full time employees in 1980 and have grown to just under 50 today. I finished college in 1990 (BA in business, Harding University, Searcy Arkansas) and began full time employment. I started buying my father out in 1993.

Your family has always put a priority of giving back to the local community. How important was that to your mom and dad and what did you learn from that growing up in the business?

Community is everything in business. We try to give back to the community in every way possible, local schools, charities, festivals, fund raisers. This community is where we live, go to church, shop, eat. Being a part of this community has been a vital part of our success for over 42 years.

When you built the new Dewey Barber Chevrolet location that you have now, you could have chosen to build it many places, but you decided to stay local. What went in to making that decision?

Being a part of this community was the key role. The city of Gardendale was proactive and made it a no brainer for us to move south 5 miles. It has been a tremendous move for us and I wouldn’t change a thing if I had it to do over.

Now that Dewey Barber, your dad, is retired and you are running the dealership, how has learning from him in the business since you were 12 years old helped shape how you manage and continue to grow the business?

I have learned a lot from my dad, he has taught many things, but from the business side, honesty, integrity, have a daily presence, fairness and uphold your reputation and always take care of your customers. Your customers will become your friends! These things will make you a success.

Dewey Barber Chevrolet is a family business, Scott. You are 2nd generation. Are your kids showing interest so we can expect to see a 3rd generation of Barber’s when you are ready to retire?

I have my oldest (DJ) that currently works with me. He has been here full time for 3 years now since graduating from college (BA in business, Bryan College Dayton TN) It is my hope that he can follow in my steps when that day comes. It is his desire to take over as well.