OTTUMWA — The building with the overhead garage doors is still on West Main Street. You can still buy tires there, and the familiar technicians can still repair your car. But the building, callers have told the Courier, is no longer purple.
A "Firestone Complete Auto Care" center on West Main Street has replaced Expert Tire.
They call it "complete," Brandon Dunning said, because despite his title as manager of tire sales, he knows Firestone performs a lot of the car maintenance and repairs his tire customers ask for.
"Whatever you need, we're good at making it happen," he said. "We're here to serve the needs of people; we try to work on your schedule, not ours."
"We are thrilled to reopen our location as Firestone Complete Auto Care," said Rick Houston, the store manager.
Residents may remember Houston as one of Expert Tire's managers. Though he'd been promoted to a larger store, he's now returned home to Ottumwa in time for the transition. Houston and his crew had received multiple customer satisfaction awards during his tenure in Ottumwa.
Houston said though there's a new look at the former "Expert Tire," he and his staff intend to maintain "the same great service."
As for the obvious changes, Dunning is impressed.
"I'm happy with how nice the place looks. They really brightened it up," he said. "Now downtown [Ottumwa] shines that much more."
The parent company is still Bridgestone, based out of Bloomingdale, Illinois. They have 2,200 centers around the country. Their team finished work on the Ottumwa store changeover last week.
"[We're] providing an environment with a new look and feel for our customers to enjoy while we work on their vehicles," Houston said.
— Follow reporter Mark Newman on Twitter @couriermark