Snap Shop: CARSTAR of Ringgold

Oct. 13, 2022

This shop has been a local landmark for generations since it began life as a service station.

SHOP STATS: CARSTAR of Ringgold  Location: Ringgold, Georgia  Owner/Operator: Jamie White  Average Weekly Car Count: 80 (network wide)  Staff Size: 65 (across four locations)  Shop Size: 4,000 square feet  Average Monthly Revenue: $900,000 (network-wide)

1. Pillar of the Community

The techs at Jamie White’s four CARSTAR shops in northern Georgia are always busy. But there’s one assembly job that they’ll always make time for: wrenching on bicycles raffled off to local school children who record perfect attendance. For the Ringgold shop, located inside a building that’s been in the community for a century, giving back is simply part of being a local landmark.

“It’s really paying itself forward, everybody just, you support their kids, they’re going to come right back to you,” says owner Jamie White. 

2. History in Place

Kids of every generation know the building, owing to its long history in the area in the small community of Ringgold, a short hop across the border from Chattanooga, Tennessee. The building opened in the 1920s as a service station, then later became a Chevrolet dealership. When the downtown location came up for sale in 2019, White jumped on it.

“When I saw the [for sale] sign I really jumped before I was ready but I committed and I went through it and it just catches a lot of eyes, a lot of attention,” said White, who bought his first shop in 2015. “It still looks the same, I didn’t change anything other than put a small sign probably about four-foot wide, that’s it.”

3. Hometown Proud

The shop still retains much of its original character, with just a “CARSTAR of Ringgold” sign on its awning indicating its new identity. White has kept the shop as original as possible and plans to keep it that way.

“It’ll stay small,” White says. “I don’t want to take away from it. Currently we are really only doing the body work process there, because I don’t want to change it to have to add a paint booth so we move our paint to another location of mine. It would be heartbreaking to take it away from just the nostalgia.”

But that doesn’t mean the shop hasn’t seen any changes. The interior is decorated with vintage automotive signs recycled from historic shops in Ringgold. And one member of the team is always on the lookout for more.

“My wife, when she’s got anything that’s antique as far as car-wise, she’ll pick it up and we’ve got it around there, as far as decorations,” White says. “So it just looks old, that’s the only way to put it.”