Melissa and Joe Canfield, the owners of Grease Monkey Ruskin.

There’s a new automotive business in Ruskin, and its name is Grease Monkey. Owned by Joe and Melissa Canfield, the franchise location is a full-service auto repair center that works on all makes and models, including most European and Asian cars and trucks.

Before Grease Monkey Ruskin, Joe and Melissa had owned and operated HiTech Automotive in Brandon for 17 years. They sold it and retired, but they eventually decided to get back into the auto business.

“We still had more to give and more to offer our customers as far as car repairs go, so we ended up purchasing an existing shop, and we are rebranding it to Grease Monkey,” said Melissa.

Started just a little over three months ago, it specializes in brakes, air conditioning, check engine lights, diagnostics, tires and oil changes, and it services all other mechanical auto needs. Plus, Joe’s ability to easily convey what’s happening with vehicle repairs, depth of knowledge and years of experience make for high-quality service.

In addition, Grease Monkey offers courtesy shuttles so customers can return home during vehicle repairs along with a nighttime key drop box so they can drop off their vehicle at night. It can arrange for your vehicle to be towed as well if necessary.

For those interested in its trade, while the business is fully staffed, it’s open to interviews for new employees.

But business isn’t its only goal, as the family-owned and operated Grease Monkey Ruskin also has a strong community involvement focus.

“We wanted to move into this area because we love the SouthShore area so much, even though we still live in FishHawk. That was part of the motivation of coming down here, because the SouthShore area is just beautiful, it’s growing,” said Melissa. “We want to be part of the community.”

In November, Grease Monkey will offer a free ‘get to know your car’ class — for ladies mostly, but anyone is welcome — covering warning signs for necessary repairs or maintenance, how to change tires and such. For the date, to be decided, follow its Facebook page at, and be on the lookout for its other community events.

Grease Monkey Ruskin is located at 2003 S. U.S. Hwy. 41 and is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and it plans to be open on Saturdays. For more information, visit or call 813-645-0339.

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Taylor Wells
Taylor Wells is a relatively recently hired news reporter for the Osprey Observer, having been with the paper only since October 8, 2018. Aside from writing articles, he helps edit and upload them to the Osprey Observer site, and is always available to help other staff members in his spare time. He graduated from Saint Leo University with a bachelor’s degree in professional writing and lives in Valrico.