Auto Parts

Family members-Owned Vehicle Pieces Retail store Celebrates 50 Years in Organization on North Atherton Road

Nick and Greg Stoicheff powering the counter at Stoicheff’s Vehicle Sections, 2131 N. Atherton St. The business is celebrating 50 decades in 2022. Picture by Geoff Rushton | StateCollege.com

A whole lot has change on North Atherton Road in excess of the earlier 50 years, but one of the couple of constants has been Greg Stoicheff.

Stoicheff’s Auto Areas opened its doors at 2131 N. Atherton St. in March 1972, when it did not have many neighbors. Right now, the 72-12 months-old Stoicheff estimates only two or a few structures that were all over at the time continue to be right now as the street has become a bustling commercial corridor.

“Tire Town (which is even now open up) was my closest neighbor. Anything from there on down has adjusted,” Stoicheff mentioned. “It’s just amazing. Most areas you really do not see that factors hardly ever alter. We’re conversing practically every little thing is absent.”

Over the a long time, Stoicheff built a loyal consumer base, adapted his business enterprise and included new components to thrive whilst many unbiased vehicle components shops have long gone by the wayside.

“Family aid, good friend guidance, good shoppers — it’s been a combination of all that,” he claimed. “I’ve had a ton of help all through the 50 years.”

Stoicheff grew up in Lewistown, in which his household has an car pieces retail store he labored in as a youth. Right after higher school, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in Vietnam as a fight medic.

Shortly immediately after returning from 21 months in the company, his father talked to him about opening an additional store.

“I understood I was headed into the sections business enterprise and my father had been conversing to me about ‘why really don’t we open up a keep somewhere?’ He gave me a pair areas to go examine out and I favored Condition School, so I arrived in this article,” Stoicheff said. “He aided me get started off. I actually considered I was just functioning for him opening a branch and he stated ‘Oh by the way this is yours,’ so which is how it all commenced.”

Family members-Owned Vehicle Pieces Retail store Celebrates 50 Years in Organization on North Atherton Road
Greg Stoicheff helps a consumer at Stoicheff’s Automobile Sections. Photograph by Geoff Rushton | StateCollege.com

Because then, the business landscape has surely improved. Gone are the impartial support stations that were as soon as discovered all-around State College or university, as are many of the modest garages, changed by nationwide repair service outlets that have parts contracts with countrywide vehicle sections stores, Stoicheff mentioned.

“They’ll give you a minimal small business but you really do not get sufficient to maintain by yourself,” he claimed. “So my enterprise is regional farmers and people and stuff like that.”

Auto elements have turn into just one particular portion of his organization, nevertheless. About 28 years in the past, Stoicheff’s became an impartial U-Haul dealer and regularly ranks amongst the company’s top 10 impartial suppliers, he claimed.

A massive aspect of that is hustle. Stoicheff explained he doesn’t be reluctant to go nicely outdoors the space to choose up vans and has not been not able to satisfy a reservation in 10 to 15 many years.

“We have a whole lot of company in U-Haul, and we sell bins and hitches and all that stuff,” he reported. “It’s a pleasant organization on its very own. We could probably do just U-Haul if we wished to.”

He’s also extra a company and mend garage, small motor company and lawn and back garden, serving as a regional supplier and servicer for Husqvarna out of doors electricity devices and Gravely mowers.

“If I ended up nonetheless just automobile areas I most likely would not be listed here,” Stoicheff stated. “The massive chains have moved in and they just attract individuals by natural means. We still compete with them but I really don’t consider to on a day-to-day basis. Price-smart, we’re all fairly a great deal the similar but individuals the natural way go there. Who appreciates why?”

He credits his sons, Tim, who passed away from lymphoma in 2020, and Nick, who helps operate the shop nowadays, with bringing new tips that have been integral to the shop.

“[Tim] was extremely significant to the small business. He served us get into tiny engine and lawn and yard, which is a significant part of our company these days,” Stoicheff reported. “He was incredibly mechanically inclined and assisted us get into a lot of items we hadn’t been in.”

The shop has 4 staff members but Greg and Nick can be found there most times, and the elder Stoicheff states his son has been crucial to keeping the business heading.

“I in all probability would not even be below now if it wasn’t for Nick,” Stoicheff explained, adding that his grandkids are now commencing to help out, too. “Nick’s phenomenal. He’s been accomplishing it due to the fact he still left higher school. He’s genuinely excellent.”

Stoicheff’s Vehicle Pieces, 2131 N. Atherton St., is celebrating 50 a long time in enterprise in 2022. Picture by Geoff Rushton | StateCollege.com

Even with the additions, faithful customers nonetheless rely on Stoicheff for pieces. Knowledge of what they will need, collection and truthful pricing have been key to developing that customer base, he reported.

“We get phone calls for a ton of outdated stuff. Probably six months in the past a dude known as me for an ignition change for a 1928 Chevy,” he mentioned. “I didn’t have a guide to seem it up but I advised him ‘Bring it in, I consider I know what you need.’ …I have a great deal of ’40s stuff, ’50s things. It is pretty much to the issue individuals assume it … But that’s how I built the business at the commencing. When you’re new to an location they already have their spots they are shopping for and they’ll only consider you if they just cannot get it where they normally get it. Then inevitably you construct them up and do that and which is the way it labored.

“I don’t know how several situations I have read individuals say you are like the O.W. Houts (the former Condition College normal retail outlet) of automobile pieces. Which is a wonderful compliment to be informed you are the O.W. Houts of a thing. That is often great to listen to. Or individuals will say ‘I’ve been just about everywhere and you are the only dude that had it.’”

These consumers can assume to find Stoicheff at the shop for some time to appear. He desires to continue on functioning the retailer for another 13 a long time or so, right up until he’s 85, at which issue he plans for Nick to consider about.

“That’s the program. If he does not, then we would close,” he stated. “He likes it. Sad to say he’s like me. My goal is just to stroll away, give it to him and go. I don’t need to have anything. I’m content and which is all I treatment about.”

Nick pointed out to him, nonetheless, he’ll have to wait around until finally a number of months just after he turns 85 to retire. His birthday is in July, in the course of the top of U-Haul company.

“You can not leave in the center of U-Haul season,’” Stoicheff claimed with a laugh.

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