People We Meet: Bismark Loaisiga pursues a family business

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For Bismark Loaisiga, the auto repair shop at 1670 15th St. near Julian Avenue has been a family affair.

His uncle started America’s Body & Fender Inc., now Bismark Auto Body & Paint, 30 years ago when he arrived from Nicaragua. Loaisiga has been working there since he was 17.

The family moved to the Mission in 2004. Loaisiga never left.

“This is the hood where I came from,” he said, shortly after greeting a passer-by.

When his uncle retired two years ago, he left the shop in Loaisiga, now 33 years old.

“I do what I love,” he says. “I can stay here all day, and I feel happy and free.”

The Mission is a great place for a businessman whose mother tongue is Spanish, he said. And, he added, he knows how to run a business here. He loves his clients and tries to give families in need a break from repairs.

An employee works on a car on June 18 at Bismark Auto Body & Paint. (Photo by David Mamaril Horowitz)

The pandemic has made it difficult as a business owner and parent.

People were driving a lot less and didn’t want to spend on fixing their cars, which meant he had to lay off workers, he said. And, as a single dad, he had to bring his 9-year-old son to the store for online education several times a week.

However, Loaisiga staff are now vaccinated and business has improved – especially with California reopening on June 15, which allowed those vaccinated to forgo masks indoors and businesses to open up to 100. % of their capacity.

“I think things will change for the good,” he said.

Bismark Loaisiga poses for a photo on June 18 in front of his body and paint shop at 1670 15th St. near Julian Avenue. (Photo by David Mamaril Horowitz)


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