A Middletown-based tire sales and automobile servicing company that Butler County residents have patronized for decades is celebrating 75 years of service.
Dempster Tire Pros got its start in 1941 as Rus Dempster’s General Tire sales.
“My grandfather, who was running a Goodyear store in Wheeling, W.Va., was given an opportunity to start a Hawkinson retreading franchise in one of three markets and he choose the Middletown market,” said Richie Dempster, the company’s president.
Family-owned and operated for three generations, Dempster Tire Pros has two Middletown locations. A retail store opened in 1954 offering all sizes of tires and complete preventative maintenance and automotive repairs, such as alignments, oil changes, brakes, transmission services and engine diagnostics. The second location, which is commercial in nature, opened in 2015 and deals with large OTR tires and on-site tire repair for medium commercial trucks and larger.
Dempster Tire Pros also has operated since 2012 a satellite location in Mobile, Ala., servicing steel mills in the area.
The business has 28 employees, 10 at its retail location, five at its commercial welding division, four at its commercial tire location, three in Alabama and five at its corporate office.
“I started working at the business in 1998 part-time while I was in high school,” Dempster said. “I went full-time after going to college in 2001 and starting running all the day to day operations at the end of 2008.”
In those years, Dempster’s role in the company has grown by leaps and bounds.
“I’ve gone from changing tires in the shop to running our commercial OTR service department to being the general manager and being responsible for all the day-to-day functions,” he said. “Over the last five years, I’ve moved into the role of president and working to grow our operation and expand into new markets and even into new a new business being commercial welding for the steel mill and other customers associated with the steel mill.”
Bethann Niederman, of Liberty Twp. said she’s been a Dempster Tire Pros customer more than 30 years, taking her family’s personal vehicles and farm vehicles there for servicing.
“My husband trusted their work and the price and the people and he took everything there all of the time,” Niederman said. “After he passed away, I didn’t even question where I would continue to go for that service because they took such good care of us and my husband appreciated their work, so I just keep going there.”
Dempster said he enjoys expanding Dempster Tire operations into new markets and coming up with plans on how to make current operations more efficient to give customers the best value. He said he was excited to be recognized recently by the Chamber of Commerce Serving Middletown, Monroe & Trenton for reaching the 75th anniversary milestone.
Rick Pearce, the chamber’s president and CEO, said the chamber does its best to honor its members who celebrate special anniversaries, such as 25, 50, 75 and 100 years. Pearce, during a November luncheon for the chamber, thanked the Dempster family for choosing to locate, keep and grow Dempster Tire Pros in Middletown.
“I can only hope that in 25 years, we can do this again for your 100th anniversary,” he said.