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Rainbow Chevrolet celebrates 20 years in LaPlace

LAPLACE —When Rainbow Chevrolet of LaPlace opened 20 years ago, owner Lloyd Guillot had approximately 30 employees write their names on American flag cake toppers so everyone could claim their stake in the new establishment.

Longtime employee Alana Berthelot watched Rainbow’s employee count and car sales double over the past two decades.

At 1 p.m. Tuesday, the community will uphold the flag tradition while celebrating the dealership’s anniversary with food, refreshments and door prizes.

The celebration kicks off a six-day sales event and a chance for a lucky River Parishes resident to win a 2018 Chevy Equinox.

More than 33,000 mail pieces are being sent out this weekend in St. John the Baptist, St. Charles and St. James parishes, one marking the winner.

Berthelot said Rainbow’s down-to-earth, family oriented atmosphere fuels the company’s longevity.

Rachelle Johnson, from left, sales manager Mark Babin and Peggy Himel talk in the showroom of Rainbow Chevrolet.

“Instead of it saying Rainbow Chevrolet on our shirts, it says Rainbow Automotive Family,” Berthelot said.

“We are very supportive of the community and participate in a lot of events, such as Relay for Life and sponsoring baseball and basketball teams.”

General manager William Paredes said Rainbow Chevrolet is a full-service facility, offering parts and repairs alongside a variety of specials on new and pre-owned vehicles.

Car sales boost local tax flow, according to Paredes.

“We try to make as many deals as we can in St. John because we want to increase the volume of tax dollars,” Paredes said.

“If you can spend your money locally, it strengthens the community you’re living in. Here, we have locals tied into the organization, and that helps us understand the needs of the Parish.”

It’s important for business stakeholders to maintain a local presence and stay connected with customers, Paredes said, even if it just means remembering names and striking up conversations in the grocery store.

Alana Berthelot holds an album of pictures from opening day in 1998.

Rainbow Chevrolet’s dedication to helping customers finance vehicles is another company strong point.

“Some customers might be turned away for their credit at other stores, but we try to work through everybody’s individual situations,” Paredes said.

Paredes sees Rainbow Chevrolet expanding in the future, possibly requiring construction of a new building in the adjacent lot.

Berthelot said business growth is a given, adding Guillot efficiently manages six Rainbow locations to continue a tradition set by his father.

“Lloyd always has a lot of irons in the fire,” Berthelot said. “With him, there are no limitations.”

Rainbow Chevrolet is located at 2020 W. Airline Highway. Store hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. for service and 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. for sales.

For more information, call 985-718-4683 or visit rainbowchevy.com.