Chamber Recognizes Bluffton Tire as November Member of the Month
The Wells County Chamber of Commerce staff and Ambassadors recognized Bluffton Tire, a 57-year family-owned business, as the November Member of the Month. Bluffton Tire is located at 1308 S Main Street in Bluffton.
In 1961 Bluffton Tire started out as a Goodyear operation selling only tires. Bill Gentis started working for the business in 1961 and then became one of two private owners in 1962. “We only had three employees when we first started and only sold one brand of tire and that was Goodyear,” Gentis explained.
Over the past 57 years the business has changed significantly. “There are now over 30 different brands of tires to offer and 85% of our business today is automobile repairs and service,” said Gentis. “It still surprises me that people in our community don’t know we service vehicles.”
Although Gentis has retired he still comes into Bluffton Tire every day to have coffee and talk to the customers and staff. His son, Kerry Gentis, manages the day-to-day operations of the business. Bluffton Tire has a staff of 7 with a combined 206 years of experience. “The longevity of our employees makes our business strong and we don’t have the trainees that other businesses may have; there is a lot of knowledge here,” adds Kerry.
Bluffton Tire sets themselves a part for a variety of reasons and Kerry explained that their service is different than others in town. “We conduct a complete and thorough investigation of the customers automobile and we document everything. Customers rave about our inspections because we let them visually see what is going on with their vehicle to prove to them we stand behind our diagnosis,” explained Kerry.
Kerry continued to describe that technology has helped because they can immediately text an overall digital inspection to the customer. The digital inspection sends photos and/or videos of needed repairs to the customer right away. “It’s a better, quicker and easier way of communicating and we don’t ever want a customer to have questions about what we are doing and why.”
Bluffton Tire offers a full line of services for foreign, domestic cars and fleets. “We can repair anything with engine service, steering, suspension, alignments, brakes, shocks, tune-ups, engine lights, and transmission issues. The only thing we don’t do with the car is paint,” Kerry laughed.
Bill and Kerry explained the importance of customers taking their vehicle to the same place each time for service and repairs and not move around. “The consistency puts the responsibility on us if something goes wrong and we are going to take care of our customers.”
Bill concludes, “we are going to keep doing what we’re doing right. It’s been working for 57 years so far.”
Pictured in the photo left to right:
Erin Prible, Executive Director, Wells County Chamber of Commerce
Kevin Pritchard, RUOFF Home Mortgage, Chamber Ambassador
Kevin Sills, Ossian State Bank, Chamber Ambassador
Mike Middlested, Bluffton Tire
Heather Morgan, National Oil, Chamber Ambassador
Kerry Gentis, Bluffton Tire
Larry Kleinknight, Bluffton Tire
Bill Gentis, Bluffton Tire
Randy Paul, Bluffton Tire
Nick Huffman, FC Tucker/Malcolm & Schlueter, Chamber Ambassador
Susie Gentis, Bluffton Tire
Tom Gents , Bluffton Tire
Doug Fear, Edward Jones, Chamber Ambassador
Jessica Beste, American Mortgage, Chamber Ambassador