For nearly 60 years, City Tire Service in Zanesville, Ohio, has been a staple in the heavily rural Ohio community.
Founded in 1953 by Arlin and Jean Frame, the mom-and-pop tire store and service shop was based on an old-fashioned principle: Be good to the customers and they’ll be good to you.
“My parents were very honest and trustworthy people and they instilled that in me early on,” says David Frame, who owns and operates the business today. “We’re locally-owned so everyone knows us. We have third and fourth generations of families doing business with us.”
Born and raised in Zanesville, David learned everything about the tire business from his parents.
“I grew up in the business and I think I’ve been changing tires since I could walk,” he jokes.
Although he was “born selling tires,” David says the decision to join the family business full-time didn’t come until later in life.
“My father was ready to sell it when I was younger but he didn’t because I didn’t know for sure what I wanted to do,” he says. “I went to Ohio State for two years and I decided that I wanted to try the tire business. That was in 1984, and I’m still here.”
Over the years, the small, family-owned company has seen its fair share of ups and downs and has learned to adapt to the changing times.
“Back in 1982, right before I got into the business, they closed the Y-bridge down and we lost 15,000 cars a day that went by our front door,” he says. “That almost killed us, but we survived and moved to the east side of town. We’ve added on three times since we’ve been out here.”
David learned several tricks of the trade for business survival from his father Arlin, who passed away in 2003.
“My Dad was big on keeping a lot of inventory,” says David. “He believed in having tires in stock that could fit just about anything that came through Zanesville, and we stock a million dollars worth of tires today. No one likes to buy tires and if they need tires, they don’t want to have to wait a few days to get them. So, if you don’t have them, they’re going to go to some place that will.”
City Tire Service operates out of one 10-bay facility. The service area features the latest equipment for technicians, while the waiting area features a TV, reading materials and wireless Internet for customer comfort. With a warehouse behind the shop, City Tire Service stocks more than 35 brands of tires and wheels for just about any type of vehicle, from lawn and garden vehicles to exotic cars.
“We have the latest equipment on the market, and I am always buying new equipment so we have the latest technology to work with,” he says. “We’re one of the only people in town who have the equipment to do high-end wheels on exotic cars.”
The company supplies tires to local car dealerships and offers several other services including brake work, oil changes, wheel alignments and balancing, shocks/struts and front-end service. It also has two service trucks.
With a staff of 10, David says the close-knit coworkers are like family and the business, as a whole, strives for top quality by making sure all technicians are ASE brake/front end certified, Tech International tire repair certified, TIA-certified and TPMS trained.
Along with its reputation for excellent customer service and quality products, City Tire Service also is known for its generosity within the community. The company has sponsored several community programs, from youth baseball and softball to the local Fourth of July event.
“We’re always doing promotions and functions for our local community,” David says. “We’ve brought NASCAR drivers to town for dinners and then we donate the money to the local community foundation to buy uniforms and gear for youth sports.
“We are also a sponsor for the annual Fourth of July celebration. A few years ago they were going to cancel the Fourth of July event because of funding, so I stepped up to the plate and sponsored the whole thing and we continue to sponsor the Fourth of July festivities in town,” he adds.
The company also partners with the local animal shelter to sponsor a luncheon to raise money for the organization and help find homes for adoptable dogs and cats.
“We do a promotion here at the shop where they (the animal shelter) bring in dogs and cats for adoption and we provide lunch from Dominos and Coca-Cola. For a donation, we give everybody lunch and all the money goes to the shelter. Anyone who adopts an animal gets a $50 gift certificate for a set of tires.”
City Tire Service also supports the Uniroyal soccer program; Bowl for Kids’ Sake, an event for Big Brother Big Sister Foundation; and donates to all eight school districts in Muskingum County every year to support the arts, academics and athletic programs.
Personally, David belongs to several community organizations, including Zanesville Rotary, Masonic Temple, Top Twenty Group, Zanesville Chamber of Commerce, Muskingum County Small Business Incubator and Muskingum County Small Business Development. He also is the vice president of the Ohio Tire & Automotive Association.
“We get together to discuss different products, our problems and our successes and then take that information back to our own dealerships,” he says. “You get a lot of great advice just by listening to other people.”
David says community involvement and support is something his family has never thought twice about.
“They support me and without their support and business, I wouldn’t be able to support them, so it’s a two-way street.”