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Business History Month: Tire Town

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Tire Town

Tire Town opened in 1981 with Sam and Pam Word. Their business had the goal of providing a place where customers can purchase tires at the best value available in Sulphur Springs. Four years later in 1985, Mike Gilmer, the current owner of Tire Town, joined the company and ran the retail portion of the business while Sam ran the wholesale business. With the two working together, the business quickly expanded beyond the City Limits.

“Between 1985 and 1990, we established other stores in the vicinity, patterned after Tire Town,” Gilmer said. “Under the corporate name of Road Runner Tires, Inc., locations in Paris, Hugo, Commerce, Bonham, Sherman, and Quinlan were developed and operated successfully for years. All locations except Sulphur Springs were sold to other individuals, usually the manager hired to run that location.”

Mike and his wife,  Bonnie Gilmer, became the sole owners of Tire Town after Sam Word sold his half of the business to pursue his own interests. The Gilmer’s ran Tire Town from the original location on I-30 before moving to their current location on 622 Oak Ave. in 2005.

“The new facility was designed to allow us to better serve our customers, provide them with a comfortable waiting area, a clean service area, and a better buying experience. This also allowed us to expand our service capabilities and offer first class alignment, front end repairs, and brake service. We have a 30 year history with providing quality Cooper tires plus we have daily access to all other brands and types of tires.”

As a family-owned business, the Gilmer’s have supported local youth and school activities, the Northeast Texas Choral Society, Ducks Unlimited and church-related activities. Also, Bonnie Gilmer was declared Hopkins County Lady of the Year for her community work. The Gilmer’s continue to offer the best service possible at Tire Town and strive for customers to leave their business wholly satisfied.

“Our goal from the beginning has been to provide the very best in quality, value and service to all our customers,” Gilmer said. “We work every day to make that happen for all our automotive related customers.”

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Mike Gilmer (far right) and the Tire Town Crew

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Author: Staff Reporter

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