Lucky Dog Garage in Lakeland, MN, first opened in 2017 by Billy Kaye, who has been around cars since birth. His passion for vehicles was directly inspired by the relationship and time spent growing up with his father, Bill Sr. Bill Sr. and Billy’s uncles love cars - it just runs in the family! Billy and his younger brothers would go with their father on his car hunts or "wild goose chases." Billy fell in love with the hunt and enjoyed spending quality time with his dad.
Billy went to an all male military academy in high school, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Minnesota, and was a former tech entrepreneur and commodities trader. Fun fact: he was also a cheerleader at the U of M :). He has been very fortunate to turn his hobbies, or rather, his passions, into a full time career. He loves to spend time with his family in his spare time.
In 2016, Billy Kaye left his career as a commodities trader in Kansas City to return to his hometown and open up an auto dealership called St. Croix Classics. He quickly realized that there was no way that he could build a sustainable independent auto dealership without accessibility to an auto repair shop. He ended up buying a local repair shop to ensure St. Croix Classics put the best quality vehicles on the marketplace.
Lucky Dog Garage was originally to be named “St. Croix Classics Sales & Service”, however the same month that Billy was set to buy the auto repair shop, tragically his 16 year old yellow lab, Hunter, was hit by a car. This experience deeply impacted him, and it was extremely difficult to make the decision to put their beloved family dog down. He also didn't realize how many other people have also gone through a similar experience with a family pet. He wanted to take this negative experience and turn it into something positive. Hence the name, Lucky Dog Garage. Our shop proudly donates $10 for every brake job we do to our local animal shelter with the hope that we can have a positive impact on a dog’s life.
St. Croix Classics and Lucky Dog Garage were Inspired by love and are driven by integrity. Being a former commodities trader in the Kansas City Area gave Billy training to manage and mitigate risk when managing hedge accounts. This gave him an entirely different perspective on used cars and auto repair than most independent auto repair shop owners might. The software programs used at Lucky Dog Garage, the upgrades in equipment we make, and the formal processes we have in place at our business are all geared to manage and mitigate risk on our customers vehicles.
Remember, we are Your Vehicle’s Best Friend!