Going the Extra Mile

If you are a car enthusiast living in HRM, there is a good chance you have already heard of Paul Salvador.

In late 2014, Salvador founded Hooked On Detailing, an auto detailing shop currently located on 230 Wyse Road in Dartmouth. Known for his passion, precision, and level of care, he has gradually established himself as one of the Province’s top auto detailers. With HoD, Salvador offers a variety of quality detailing services and products including paint corrections, paint protection films, and ceramic coatings for vehicles.

“I've always been interested in proper paint restoration,” says Salvador. “That's really my passion. With us, it's more than just a two- or three-hour buff job. We spend days on really carefully restoring the paint”

Over the past seven years, Salvador has gained the trust and admiration of clients. He works on a variety of vehicles, from Kia Souls to Ford F150s to exotic cars. His reputation has led to clients entrusting him with sometimes highly complex detailing jobs.

“Last week, we did a restoration on a 1936 Ford Phaeton Roadster,” he says. “Before that, we did a 1932 Ford Model A. We’ve even done helicopters.”
Picture of a vintage Ford Roadster

Because of his detailing experience, passion for cars, and drive to provide his customers with the best service possible, Salvador says that he is constantly looking for new ways to innovate and improve.

“What we're offering is more than just the protection. What we offer is the knowledge of the paint system. There's really a science to it. I want to give my customers the best result.”

The Road to Success

From an early age, Salvador knew he wanted to work with cars. Growing up in the Philippines, he frequently went to auto shows with his father and was eager to learn how to drive.

“I've always been into detailing,” he says. “I love cars. Every time my dad would take me to a car show, I loved seeing the project cars that people built. I've always been impressed with how cars look. That has always been my appreciation. I have really an eye for those kinds of details.”

After attending university in Davao City, Salvador and his wife moved to Canada, arriving in Halifax in 2011. Salvador worked as an auto detailer for several years but was forced to quit because of a family emergency. He began working full-time at a nursing home and detailing cars in his spare time.

“I was probably getting four or five hours of sleep every day,” he says.

Eventually, that hard work started to pay off. Salvador says that, through word-of-mouth, more and more people started approaching him about detailing jobs. In 2014, he decided to pursue his passion full-time and open his own detailing business. After traveling to California for extra training, he started HoD.

Picture of the Hooked On Detailing storefrontThe hard work didn’t stop there. Salvador says that, in the early years it was a challenge to find the right location for a shop, and his bank was reluctant to finance a new business. After several years of growth, Salvador knew that he had to make a change. That’s when he approached CUA.

“I really needed that extra financing to help me grow the business. I had just moved to a bigger shop, and my team was growing. I needed more equipment to keep up with the demand,” he says.

He applied for a small business loan from CUA and was approved.

“I was super, super thankful for it because it really gave me the confidence,” says Salvador. “It's not just financial. It's knowing that there's someone who sees your goals and what you’re capable of doing. That's a big deal for a small business.”

A Special Kind of Drive

Since becoming a CUA member, Hooked On Detailing has grown even more and is now getting recognition from other provinces and even other countries.

Picture of Paul Salvador and the Hooked On Team“The type of detailing that I do is becoming more and more popular,” he says. “Now, I'm getting calls from shops in other provinces asking me for tips. Some of our posts of the work that we've done gets shared online around the world, so I'm getting inquiries in different languages.”

Salvador has brought on more staff members and is looking forward to a bright future.

“For me, it's always been a lot of sacrifice: a lot of blood, a lot of sweat, a lot of tears. This is a passion for me, and I have guys here who share the same passion. You know, I always tell them, ‘If you grow, I'll make sure you grow with me,’” he says.

“I want to give my customers the best possible result. That's why I feel like I will never stop learning. I always want to improve myself because the challenging part is every manufacturer, they also change right? Every new car, there's always new technology there's always changes.”


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