Biz Buzz: 71-year-old tire store in Idaho Falls under new ownership
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Do you want to know what’s happening in the eastern Idaho business scene? We’ve got you covered. Here is a rundown of this week’s business news across the valley.
Longtime tire store under new ownership
IDAHO FALLS – Tanner Landon is working under the hood of a Dodge pickup, adjusting the newly installed fuel pump as he discusses his new business venture.
The 37-year-old Idaho Falls man spent 14 years as a robotics equipment mechanic at the Idaho National Laboratory. He and his wife, Jenna, who works as a nurse, are the new owners of Fred & Wayne’s Tire Shop at 1970 North Yellowstone Highway.
They bought the business from Mitch Kvarfordt, who’s owned it since the 1980s. As Landon settles into his new role, he tells EastIdahoNews.com he couldn’t be happier with the transition.
“Me and Mitch hit it off really well. He’s been as good as gold to me in making sure the transition was easy and that everything was going to work out,” Landon says. “It’s worked out great for both us.”
Fred & Wayne’s is a name that comes with 71 years of history. It’s a brand that Landon says has earned a solid reputation because of the level of service customers receive. Maintaining that same level of service is foremost on Landon’s mind, and he isn’t planning to change the name.
Mitch Kvarfordt says his dad, Fred, opened the shop in 1951 under the name Fred’s OK Tire store.
“He had three different locations — one on West Broadway, one on 1st Street and one on South Yellowstone Highway right where the underpass is on 17th Street. In 1963, he built this building (on North Yellowstone) and took Wayne Peterson in as a partner,” Kvarfordt says.
Peterson was an assistant manager at JCPenney’s at the time. The two were partners for 11 years before they sold it to someone else.
Mitch Kvarfordt bought it in 1987 when he was 35 years old. He is now 70 and looking forward to his retirement.
“He figured it’s probably time that (he) retire and go do something fun,” says Landon.
Multiple people offered to buy Kvarfordt’s shop for much more money, Landon says, but he held out until the right person came along. Landon is grateful for the chance to carry on Kvarfordt’s legacy.
Landon’s interest in being a mechanic started when he was a kid. He and his dad enjoy working on muscle cars, and over the years, he’s acquired a small collection. His 1969 Aston Mini Cooper is on display in the shop’s showroom.
After 14 years at the INL, Landon was ready for a change, and his wife suggested he open his own car repair shop.
“I said, ‘I don’t really want to do a shop. Right now, parts are hard to get … and I don’t want cars sitting around.’ So we settled on a tire store,” Landon recalls.
The idea of buying Fred & Wayne’s was appealing to him not only because it was established, but it also allowed him to incorporate repairs into the business model.
“Nothing looks better on a car than a nice set of wheels and tires, but (I also like doing) the brakes, the shocks and front-end work,” Landon says. “With the tire store portion, we can take on as much mechanical repair as we wanted.”
Landon and his team began offering specific types of repair work earlier this month.
He also likes being able to offer different brands of tires, which isn’t an option at some shops.
One of his mom’s favorite hobbies is riding an e-bike, and Landon would like to start selling them in the future. As an avid fisherman, he’s also toying with the idea of becoming an authorized repair center for Minn Koda, a manufacturer of electric fishing rod motors.
“The possibilities with the tire store are endless,” he says.
Fred & Wayne’s is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and will expand to Saturday in January.
New veterinary clinic opening in Idaho Falls
IDAHO FALLS – Nicole Seda-Boone has always loved animals, and she’s worked as a vet at the Idaho Falls Zoo and East Idaho Aquarium for several years.
Soon, she’ll have her own vet clinic.
Eagle Rock Veterinary Clinic is slated to open on Nov. 5 at 3630 South 25th East, Ste. 7 inside Kingwood Plaza in Idaho Falls. The clinic will cater to all pets, providing general and surgical care for clients.
EastIdahoNews.com spoke with Seda-Boone and will post a more in-depth story soon.
Foot and ankle clinic opens in Idaho Falls
IDAHO FALLS – Braden Jenkins learned more than combat skills during his deployment in Iraq.
It was 2010, and thousands of troops were being sent home as Operation Iraqi Freedom was coming to a close. Jenkins and his comrades in the Idaho National Guard 116th Calvary 1-148 Artillery Unit were being deployed to conduct stability operations as part of Operation New Dawn.
The long hours of marching and doing drills in combat boots were causing blisters, ingrown toenails, traumatic injuries and other issues for many of his fellow soldiers. It’s a memory that stayed with Jenkins, and when his deployment was over, he decided to become a podiatrist.
Jenkins celebrated the grand opening of The Ridge Ankle and Foot Clinic at 2920 Cortez Avenue in Idaho Falls this week.
A more in-depth story will be posted soon.