Don Owen Tire Celebrates 25 Years!
Don and his wife, Carole, opened Don Owen Tire Service, Inc. on June 2, 1986. For Don, selling tires was second nature with 23 years experience in the retail and wholesale tire business. Carole was new to the tire business but her organizational skills as a former teacher complimented Don and the business. Taking a chance as entrepreneurs on that second day of June 25 years ago they founded their business on these simple standards: quality products, professional service at a reasonable price.
The 2500 square foot building with one full-time employee, besides the two of them, opened its doors at 620 West Olive in Bloomington, a not so sought after location for a retail business of any kind. As the years rolled on, the location proved to be the least of their worries, in fact, they soon ran out of room and needed to expand. Over the course of seven short years Don Owen Tire service progressed from its original 2500 square foot building to two buildings connected by the office. One building is now a warehouse with a bay for large truck tire repairs and another building that hosts 17 service bays and can accommodate anything from the average vehicle to a motor home or a semi tractor-trailer.
As the building expanded, so did the employee base, adding Don and Carole’s children as tire changers and office help who are now co-managers; a son, Robert Owen who has worked at the store since 1986 and a daughter, Suzanne Schwoerer who has been with the company since 1986 part-time, going fulltime after graduating from college in 1991. Rhonda Nalley, another daughter, later joined the staff as accounts receivable clerk. Robert’s wife, Cindy, bookkeeper at Owen Tire & Auto, and Suzanne’s husband Jamie, co-manager at the Olive Street location add to the family base. Don Owen Tire’s five family members stand proud as a second generation run business.
Don Owen Tire offers on the farm- on the road service with its mobile service trucks, today just as it did 25 years ago. The store continues to provide unique services and products unmatched by many in the area, offering sales, installation and repairs of tires for handcarts up to combines. Don Owen Tire offers quality automotive services from brakes and suspension to custom exhaust and batteries for all makes and models.
1993 proved to be an exciting year for Don Owen Tire and their customers as more bays were added, thus more services were offered. Not only was the West Olive store changing, but Don and Carole were able to open a second store, taking over as a Firestone Affiliated Dealer at 1502 E. Empire and opening what is known as Owen Tire & Auto, managed by Tim Vance. The second location provided the twin cities with a more convenient location for East side residents and a chance to diversify the services for vehicles once again. Owen Tire & Auto specializes in engine service and diagnostics, along passenger and light-truck tire sales, suspension and brake service. As a business and a family, we are grateful to our customers for all of their years of support and patronage. Don Owen Tire Service rolls into 2011 modifying its services and products to accommodate our customers, but never wavering from the foundation that started it all: the vision of Don and Carole Owen based on service and integrity.