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Jamie Bush (left) and Brad Parker

Small Business Spotlight: Parker Tire

Contributed by the Tallassee Chamber of Commerce

Brad Parker was born and raised in Tallassee by his parents, Roy and Mary Parker. Growing up in Tallassee allowed Parker the opportunity to understand his hometown. This understanding is what led him to open Parker Tire and Service Center in Tallassee.

"I saw a need in the late 1980s/early 1990s for a tire store and automotive repair facility," he said. "There was nothing more than a gas station at the time, which was selling tires and no one had up-to-date equipment to do the job with at that time."

Seeing the need, Parker opened his business in July of 1991 and since then has become a staple in Tallassee. He originally opened his shop at 1117 Gilmer Avenue and remained at that location until 1995, when he moved his business to the current location at 1508 Gilmer Avenue.

"The first thing I did when I opened was buy new equipment. Certainly in this day in time, we wouldn’t be able service all the different vehicles without the up-to-date equipment."

Parker Tire and Service Center offers a wide variety of services and tires and can order virtually any tire for any vehicle, even farm equipment.

Parker has seen a lot of change in the business over the years.

"The number of different sizes of tires has increased dramatically over the last 25 years," he said. "When we first started, we could stock about 15 sizes and that would cover about 90 percent of the cars. Today, probably 150 different sizes of tires will cover about 50 percent of cars. In other words, the days of walking in and buying a tire for your car is a lot harder."

Thanks to technology, the need to keep tires in stock is no longer a necessity.

Jo Jo Chandler under the hood

"We have about five or six suppliers. Some can run twice a day, so we don’t have to stock as many products as we used to because we can get them delivered the same day," explained Parker. "There was no internet 25 years ago. We had a book and we had to look it up and call. Now, you don’t call anybody. Everything is done electronically."

Inside the establishment, Parker has created a welcoming hometown feel. There are pictures of Tallassee’s most well known landmarks, such as the Fitzpatrick Bridge and Thurlow Dam hanging on the walls of the shop. There are wooden rocking chairs in the waiting area, just like the rockers found on any proper front porch in the south. Customers can sit in one of these comfy rocking chairs and watch the traffic go by or watch television as they wait for their vehicles to be serviced.

Parker Tire and Service Center employs 10 people from the Tallassee area. Because of the care and dedication Parker shows his employees, several have been on staff for years. Parker's team includes: Jamie Bush, Alicia Sigler, Chris McWaters, Jason Creamer, Jo Jo Chandler, Brad Meadows, Jody Wallace, Stacey Lewis, Josh Godfrey and Zach Corbin. Wallace has the longest tenure at the business with 23 years.

Parker attributes much of his success to the support of the community and he tries to return that support.

"Tallassee is home and I think we have a very good sense of community. Through the years, I’ve tried to help with any worthwhile cause that was in the town, everything from youth athletics and sports, to high school sports and community fundraising."

This involvement has helped Parker establish his business as one that gives back to the community. Today, Parker Tire and Service Center’s reach has extended far beyond the Tallassee community.

"We cover parts of Macon, Bullock, Montgomery, most of Elmore County, Tallapoosa County and parts of Coosa County," said Parker.

Brad Meadows

Parker attributes this success to his loyal customers. Parker is a fair businessman who treats people with respect and appreciation.

"The business was totally built on repeat customers because, honestly, without word of mouth and repeat customers, you can’t stay in business. We try to treat people fairly and provide them with the service that they need while making a living and providing jobs all at the same time."

Some of the same people who became customers back in 1991 are still coming in for tires, service and repairs to this day. With such a loyal customer base, fair business practices and great employees it is easy to understand why Parker Tire and Service Center is indispensible to the city of Tallassee.

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