PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.Big O Tires L.L.C. franchisees in Arizona, California, Missouri and Utah, all with multiple stores, expanded their holdings over the summer with new stores in their respective marketing areas.
In Arizona, long-time Big O franchisee Karl Gabbard opened a store in Surprise in partnership with his daughter Desiree Elliott and Ian Downing, another Big O fran-chisee.
Mr. Gabbard is owner or part owner of six Big O stores through his business, DMS Enterprises Inc.
The greenfield store, built in a new development in the northwestern Phoenix suburb near Arizona State Route 303, is equipped with five service bays, according to Palm Beach Gardens-based Big O Tires, the franchisor of the Big O concept.
Ms. Elliott joined him in the business a few years ago and now manages the business' locations, according to a Q&A with Mr. Gabbard posted on Big O's franchise site. He's been operating Big O stores for 21 years.
Mr. Downing is a separate Big O Tires franchisee who's a partner in this store. He opened his first Big O outlet in 1997, according to his LinkedIn page.
Big O Tires is proud to continue building our footprint in the Arizona market with great franchisees like Karl, Desiree and Ian, said Kevin Kormondy, executive vice president and COO for Big O Tires, a business unit of TBC Corp.
We look forward to strengthening our new-store growth in 2015 and positively impacting the communities we serve.
DMS Enterprises' other stores are in Glendale, Goodyear, Sun City and Phoenix (two stores).
The Surprise location is the 54th Big O Tires outlet in Arizona, according to Big O's website, including 26 in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area.
In California, business partners Darrin Dolle and Todd and Ron Asher opened a Big O store in Folsom, their eighth franchised store in northern California. The Folsom store is a renovated Folsom Tire & Auto location with six service bays.
The business partners, under their Asher/Dolle Group corporate entity, took over the lease on the location in June and converted it to Big O store specifications in a matter of weeks, according to Mr. Dolle. The store opened July 20 and the owners held a grand opening the week of Aug. 17.
Mr. Dolle said he and his partners had been scouting the Sacramento area for another store for quite awhile and moved on this vacancy quickly once it became available. The partners prefer to own their locations, he said, but in this case leasing was a viable option.
Messrs. Dolle and Asher have been business partners since the late 1980s; Ron Asher opened his first Big O franchise in the mid-1970s.
Folsom is a city of about 72,000 about 20 miles northwest of Sacramento, Calif. There are a dozen Big O stores in the greater Sacramento area, four of whichElk Grove, Folsom, Rose-ville and Sacramento (Folsom Boulevard) are owned by Messrs. Dolle and Asher.
Their other stores are in Benicia, Danville, Pinole and Walnut Creek, in the San Francisco Bay area.
In Missouri, MFA Petroleum Co.which earlier this year bought out Big O Tires' 50-percent share of their BORE/MPC joint ventureopened a store in Branson, its 13th Big O outlet in that state and 15th overall.
MFA Petroleum's new store is in a former Branson Muffler & Radiator location on State Highway 248 a few miles north of downtown Branson. MFA has a second Big O location nearby in Hollister just a few miles south of Branson.
The store, which opened Aug. 25, features five service bays and is managed by Matt Smith. MFA acquired the location in mid-July from Wade's Automotive owner Wade Cantrell.
MFA said it paid $585,000 to buy the property and $150,000 to renovate it to Big O standards.
Rusty Coats, MFA's operations director, said the company had been scouting the Branson area for a second location and settled on the Branson Muffler site because of its size, age and much higher car count than another site it had under consideration.
MFA has been a Big O franchisee since 1998, originally in partnership with Big O parent TBC Corp.
Columbia, Mo.-based MFA is a farmer-owned cooperative that's been in business since 1929 supplying its 40,000-plus members with petroleum products and other key products and services.
MFA expanded its Big O network into Arkansas in 2013 and plans to open a third store there, in Bentonville, next spring. It's also evaluating the potential of opening stores in Oklahoma, Mr. Coats said.
MFA also operates nine Jiffy Lube auto care centers in Missouri.
In Utah, franchisees Kory and Kent Coleman opened a Big O store in Bountiful, their first in the northern Salt Lake City bordering community and fifth overall in Utah.
The store, which opened Sept. 1, is a new construction on the site of the former Triangle Tire/Goodyear Tires & Service location that the Colemans purchased. The new Big O store is a larger, brick-clad structure with nine service bays.
The Coleman brothers, Big O franchisees since 2006, earned the International Franchise Association's Big O franchisees of the year award in 2014. They operate their stores under Big O Tires of Northern Utah.
Kory Coleman and younger brother Kent Coleman bought their first Big O store in Murray, Utah, a Salt Lake City suburb. Since then they've added a location in Salt Lake City and two stores in Ogden, Utah.
Kory Coleman provides financial guidance and operational expertise to the brothers' Big O business while Kent Coleman oversees the accounting and marketing and works with key people to manage the day-to-day operations of the stores.
We are pleased to continue growing the Big O Tires brand with great franchisees like Kory and Kent, Mr. Kormondy said.
Big O Tires is a subsidiary of TBC Corp.
They are top performing franchisees and assist the entire Big O Tires organization in fulfilling our mission to delight our customers through honest, worry-free tire and auto service.
Big O Tires now counts 392 stores in 19 states, including 40 in Utah, predominantly in the Salt Lake City area.
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