JJ Town Car Service: He’ll get you where you need to goAlem Tesfaladet wants to get you where you’re going in style.
By: Nathan Hansen, The Farmington Independent
Alem Tesfaladet wants to get you where you’re going in style.
One month ago the Farmington resident started JJ Town Car Service, a taxi service that’s a clear step up in class from the traditional yellow cab.
Tesfaladet knows the transportation business. He started driving a taxi nine years ago, about a year after he moved to Minnesota from Ethiopia in search of a better life. He liked the job. It allowed him to meet a lot of people, including a large number of his countrymen. But it also meant long hours behind the wheel, and with two children to care for now — one is nearly 3 and the other almost 1 — Tesfaladet was looking for something that would give him a little more flexibility in his schedule.
So, he bought a 2009 Lincoln Town Car at auction and he went into business for himself.
Tesfaladet, who has lived in Farmington for five years, knows a thing or two about running a business. Before he left Ethiopia he owned his own clothing shop. There, he said, owning your own business was a necessity. If you weren’t working for yourself, it was hard to find a job working for anyone else. His motivations are different now, but he likes being in charge of his own schedule.
Tesfaladet doesn’t do a lot of the driving anymore. He has friends from his taxi driving days who can help him with that. He spends more time behind the scenes, taking appointments and making sure everyone gets where they need to go.
Tesfaladet expects much of his business to involve trips to and from the airport, a drive with which he is familiar. He said his prices are competitive with traditional taxi services. An airport trip from Farmington will cost from $50 to $65. And the ride will be a lot more comfortable.
So far, business has been slow for Tesfaladet. He’s having trouble getting his name out to people. He’s been putting ads in mailboxes and getting his business card out however he can.
But he believes if people give him a chance they’ll enjoy the experience.
“I have a good car, a clean car,” Tesfaladet said. “I’ll be on time. I don’t charge a lot of money.”