Walker’s Collision Center in Picayune
Published 7:00 am Tuesday, June 27, 2017
For the past two decades Walker’s Collision Center has provided guaranteed bodywork to the Picayune area under the ownership of Darren Champagne.
Champagne said he bought the business from the Walker family 20 years ago.
Champagne is a native of New Orleans, but has lived in Pearl River County for the past 30 years. For a time he worked at Valspar, but didn’t enjoy being away from home due to the traveling needs his sales position required.
When he heard the Walker family was interested in selling the business, he took advantage of the opportunity.
Now, he puts his years of experience into the body shop business. Champagne said he’s been doing bodywork since he was 16-years-old.
For a time he had a small shop near his home in Henleyfield. But now he employs six full time people. His staff utilize the latest in paint and bodywork practices.
The shop has used water based paints for the past 16 years, which are Environmental Protection Agency approved, and a solvent-based clear coat when making repairs. That process requires the use of a heated down draft paint booth.
Champagne said he and his crew will stand behind the repairs because all work is guaranteed for life for as long as the customer owns the vehicle.
“We value our customers more than anything,” Champagne said. “Without them we’d be nothing.”
To ensure the staff is versed on the latest techniques and regulations, they attend training sessions.
Vehicles aren’t the only things Walkers’ Collision Center will paint. Champagne said everything from refrigerators, ovens, boats, jet skis and helicopters have been brought to the business for a paint job. He’s even painted racing boats and trucks for Al Copeland shortly after taking ownership of the business.
“We’ll paint anything,” Champagne said.
However, he did turn down a request to paint the front door of a home because it was made of wood.
Champagne said his business is community minded, participating in a number of worthwhile benefits and events. Most recently he said the business provided assistance to the Garden of Eden Ranch, a haven for those who were the victims of abuse or neglect.
In addition to bodywork and painting services, Walker’s Collision Center also offers 24-hour towing.
Business hours for the shop are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The office can be reached by calling 601-798-3126. To contact the 24-hour towing side of the business, call 601-798-2525.