Doug and Linda Lathem moved to Cocoa, FL from Gainesville, GA in 1970. A mechanic by trade, Doug always had his hands on a car - either repairing one or racing another. Shortly after moving to Florida, the couple was presented with the opportunity to lease a gas station with repair bays.
It was a struggle and there were no guarantees but this gamble opened the door to great opportunities for the couple. Several years later they were able to buy their own full service gas station with repair bays which eventually included a convenience store and deli.
During this time period, they acquired low trucks - leading to operating the largest towing company in the county - and began running calls for the retail customer and wholesale customers, as well. Doug would repair cars during the day and run the wrecker at night. Linda did the bookkeeping at night after finishing her full-time job at the local Coca-Cola bottling plant, while taking care of two small children.
Already having a service station with repair shop, it seemed like a logical addition to their already existing automotive business and so Cocoa Auto Salvage was founded in 1978. With only a few acres and 2 employees, inventory was kept track of by memory and sales were mainly to local folks needing a cheaper way to repair their broken down vehicles.
There have been many changes over the last nearly half-century, but one thing that has not changed throughout the years is the family's dedication to maintaining a superior reputation in the community and with people by doing the right thing with both customers and employees.