Jerry's dad died six years after opening the business. He said his competitors didn't believe a 21-year-old diabetic could run the business without his father.
In 1969, he struck a deal with Dunlop Tire Co. and began purchasing truckloads of Remington-brand tires. He in turn sold those tires to Rayco Auto Sales for a small profit. His Dunlop representative at the time was Vic Pinto, who joined Fairmount Tire shortly after retiring from a 38-year career with Dunlop.
Pinto was among several employees honored at the anniversary celebration for his years of service to the company: 23 and counting.
"The success of any business is being committed and loyal to one supplier so you can communicate and take care of each other and be flexible and take care of every problem that comes up at the price it needs to be," Jerry said.
"If you have one main supplier, you'll be successful. If you have too many, you lose communication."
Today, Fairmount Tire operates five distribution centers, including four in California: La Mirada (nearly 100,000 square feet); Los Angeles (50,000 square feet); Stanton (25,000 square feet) and Riverside (30,000 square feet). The other is in Glendale, Ariz. (40,000 square feet).
Jerry said he has had offers to sell his business, but he isn't interested in selling what he calls his third child.
"If money makes you happy, you're not a good person," Jerry said.