Tire shop reopens on Broad Street

Published 8:50 am Monday, November 12, 2018

With gas stations and tire shops littering the street, it can be difficult to discern the true differences between different stations. One particular shop, however, hopes to set itself apart.

Poppy’s Tires sits on the corner of Sycamore and Broad streets, where the building has stood for many years. It has been closed for a while, but Jessica Bowman and Andrew Hinton have officially reopened the shop since last Tuesday, Nov. 7.

“We have been working on things since Tuesday, but we will have all the paperwork finalized on November 20,” Bowman said.

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John Graybeal, her father, worked at the store under Bob Proffitt. Bowman said she remembers sitting on stacks of tires as a child while her father worked.

“Dad wanted to see the store live on after he died,” she said. “He had ordered some new tires, and they arrived the day after his death.”

The store fell into another person’s hands for a while, but after a few months of poor performance, Bowman and Hinton decided they could run the store instead.

“We decided it would be more beneficial if we took over,” Hinton said.

Restoring the store for business was no easy feat, however. Hinton said they had to perform a variety of repairs inside and outside the building.

“We painted the floors and had to fix all the doors, since many of them were jammed,” he said. “It was rough when we took it.”

He said the hardest part of getting ready for business was the actual tire shipment. Graybeal ordered about 1,000 tires, and they filled every part of the building and storage areas. He said sorting them all was tedious.

“It took us about a month to complete the renovations,” Hinton said.

Bowman said they want to maintain the classic feeling to the shop, opting for minor paint jobs and renovations instead of a complete redesign.

As a company, she said their goal was to carry on her father’s legacy: one of compassion and love for his community.

“He loved helping families who needed it,” Bowman said. “He did not care about money. He often helped.”

Above all, she said quality customer service was their main goal.

“We want to take care of people,” she said. “When you are here, we want you to leave safe for your journey ahead. There are not that many service stations with that kind of quality.”

They said they plan to evolve beyond just a tire store, citing plans to offer gas and repair services in the future.

Bowman said she hopes to honor her father’s legacy with the shop as best she can.

“He was my step-dad, but he was my dad,” she said.