Three generations committed to family service at Baker’s Transmissions
Published 12:20 am Thursday, July 20, 2023
Baker’s Transmissions in Orange is a small family owned business celebrating 40 years of service in 2023.
Don Freeman purchased Baker’s Transmissions in 1983, and now the business is operated by his sons.
Prior to 1983, Don was a football coach in Muskogee, Oklahoma. As an assistant coach his teams won two state championships. As a head football coach, he led his teams to the playoffs.
In addition to his success on the gridiron, Don found enjoyment and success working on cars during his spare time. During the summer, he would fix cars for people and earn extra income for his family.
As Don discovered his talent for working on vehicles, his fellow coaching partner convinced him to leave the coaching world and head into the business world.
As a result, Don and his family moved to Orange in 1983 and have owned and operated Baker’s Transmission ever since.
Baker’s Transmissions has always been a family run business.
Don worked at building the business, his wife was the secretary, and sons Jeff and Greg worked as technicians.
Don retired approximately three years ago, and now Jeff and Greg operate the business while Jeff’s son, Cole, is working fulltime as a technician.
As with many family operated businesses, the plan is for Cole to take over operations in the future.
The secret to their success has been hard work, quality service and treating people fairly.
Don would work until 7 or 8 p.m. and always wanted his customers satisfied with the job that was performed. If something went wrong with a repair, Don would make sure things were made right for the customer.
This legacy of hard and quality work continues as the business relies on word-of-mouth from satisfied customers to maintain the strong reputation.
People come from Louisiana, Jasper and Lufkin to have their vehicles repaired, company leaders said.
Some of Baker’s Transmissions greatest successes and memories involve the family aspect of the business.
Jeff and Greg have dedicated themselves to their families. They spend time covering for one another so they can each attend their children’s activities.
When it comes to the local economy, Jeff understands the importance of small businesses.
“It is good to come in and see someone you know, someone you went to school with and that you can trust,” he said.
For those who may be interested in starting a small business, Jeff gave this advice: “Put your money back into your business to expand and improve.”
Through the years, Baker’s Transmissions has been able expand and upgrade equipment.
Finally, the Freeman family wants to continue working hard and serving the community. That doesn’t change when society changes and vehicles change.
The Freemans are dedicated to staying updated on all new technology to provide the best service possible for customers.
In 1983, Don Freeman had a dream of building a business that would provide for his family. That dream was realized, and now his sons and grandson are dedicated to continuing that dream for years to come.
Baker’s Transmissions is located at 404 Green Avenue in Orange. Call 409-886-4089 for more information.
Small Businesses play an important role in the U.S. economy and are the lifeblood of a local communities.
According to Forbes.com, 99.9 percent of businesses in America are small businesses that employ nearly half of all U.S. workers.
— Written by Randy Redkey