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Mel's Tire, LLC

2004 Emerging Business of the Year

“Service is not expensive; it’s priceless” is the key element at Mel’s Tire, LLC in Emporia, Kansas. Mel Reed, majority owner, has been in the tire business for many years but always before he was working for someone else, helping to make their business successful. As Mel put it, “I really started this business twenty-seven years ago by working for my former employers as if the business was my own and building a reputation”. Finally, in 2002, Mel decided to take a long awaited step and open his own tire store. His three partners, Al Mize, Todd Preisner, and Joe Dreier had been Mel’s co-workers for a long time and had been very strong about their desire to be part of the new venture. Impressively, the four together have more than 80 years experience in the tire business.

Mel’s Tire is a full-service shop. Besides selling and servicing tires and custom wheels, the shop specializes in alignments, brakes, shocks, and struts. The company handles car, truck, farm and industrial customers and built its own customer base very rapidly; really even before the doors were officially open.

The Emporia State University SBDC worked extensively with Mel on his plans and financial projections, helping to ensure the business would have enough capital and adequate cash flow. Mel was able to secure a lease on the building and start remodeling in the spring of 2002. By 2004, Mel’s Tire purchased the building. The business also easily surpassed the projected sales figures in its first year. Mel’s Tire, LLC has a “priceless” reputation for good, honest, timely service to its customers. Doing the right thing and going the extra mile are just part of doing business there. This business is truly an asset to Emporia and the surrounding region.