MEMO BLOG Memo Calendar Memo Pad Business Memos Meals on Wheels Letters Home

Beloved physician, administrator dies

Halsey-Weidler corridor revitalization money grows to $1.6 million

Parkrose Tire King retires, passes scepter to sons

Boxing coach, father passes

Parkrose Heights brain tumor survivor walks for a cure

How do Mid-county restaurants rate?

Oregon Lottery in Mid-county

MEMO Archives
MEMO Advertising

MEMO Country (Map)
MEMO Web Neighbors
MEMO Staff


© 2014 Mid-county MEMO
Terms & Conditions
Parkrose Tire King retires, passes scepter to sons


Bob Brown, fourth from left, calls it quits after more than 52 years in the tire and automotive business. He sold the assets Bob Brown Tire Center in April to the Tire Factory, a regional, member-owned group of more than 200 tire retailers. Bob’s sons, Brian and Kelly, from right, stay on at the re-christened Brown’s Parkrose Tire Factory, while 35-year office manager Estelle Fuller, far left, daughter Debbie (Brown) Codino, and wife Mary drive off into the sunset with Bob.
Memo photos/Tim Curran
After a 52-year career in the tire and automotive service business, Bob Brown of Bob Brown Tire Center has retired, leaving the business in the hands of sons Kelly and Brian. The brothers will operate as Brown’s Parkrose Tire Factory, signifying their new affiliation with Tire Factory, a regional coop of dealer-owned retail stores.

The elder Brown began to learn skills of the automotive trade from his father, Hank Brown, who ran a tire-recapping business. After working as a manager for Les Schwab and Woody Froom, Bob began selling tires out of his garage in June 1978. He switched to a storefront when he purchased the General Tire Store in Gateway, in the former San Rafael Shopping Center, currently the site of WinCo Foods.

Bob Brown Tire Center has been a family-operated business for 36 years. Bob and his wife, Mary, with assistance of recently retired office manager Estelle Fuller, developed the store’s reputation for quality products and customer service. Sons Kelly and Brian also have a long tenure as BBTC employees, as did daughter Debbie Codino and Joel Foster, assistant manager for 25 years.

During their years in business, the Browns have operated three retail stores, a wholesale outlet and a tire retread plant, developing a customer base that brought ongoing success. They have employed hundreds of workers, providing valuable retail training.

“Many,” Brown said, “have gone on to be very successful, they say, in large part, because of the training we gave them.” He adds, “I had a great career doing exactly what I want to do: Be a tire guy.”

Continuing the business’ tradition, Kelly Brown hired his daughter Erika for reception work. She also does sales and bookkeeping at the Parkrose tire store.
Brown is proud of the customer base, people who have returned year after year. Many have become friends, but even those who have known Bob Brown only through business connections speak well of him. Produce retailer, Ron Spada, had high praise about his dealings with Brown.

“He’s honest, direct and to the point and has never gone back on his word.” Spada calls Brown “...a great guy; and a great man in the community.”

Kyle Ziegler, Carrie B’s Dance Shop owner and longtime Argay Terrace resident, tags Brown as “dependable and always available. He’s always there with a big smile; always treats his customers like gold.” She added, “The whole family has the customer gene.”

Brown has also served a number of retail associations, from community to national levels. He was president of the Northwest Tire Dealers Association and four times president of the Parkrose Business Association. He also served as president of the National Tire Dealers Association from 1988-89 and served as a member of the Board of Directors.

He is in the Northwest Tire Dealers Association Hall of Fame, and in 1990, the Mid-county Memo Community Awards named him Businessperson of the Year.

“The Tire Factory Group,” says Brown, “is about as close as we could get to someone operating like we have; they’re a good fit for the business and employees.”

Brown admits he will miss the business and says he’s still winding down. “I miss it when I’m in the store and I don’t miss it when I’m away, don’t miss all the pressure and tension and stress. It’s all going to run like it did before.” Brown thinks he might go down to California and go fishing. With Kelly in charge, the younger generation of Browns continues to offer products in which they have confidence, with eyes set on a level of service reflecting the legacy Bob Brown now leaves to future generations. “He’s the best. I learned a lot from him,” Kelly Brown said about his Dad. “One thing he taught me is the company is judged by the poorest performance of any one employee, and to think about what you are doing and saying.” He added, “It’s all about the customer, they pay our wages, so listen to them. Treat them with respect; never judge a book by its cover, so to speak, or by the vehicle they drive; have patience, and listen.”
Memo Calendar | Memo Pad | Business Memos | Meals on Wheels | Letters | About the MEMO
MEMO Advertising | MEMO Archives | MEMO Web Neighbors | MEMO Staff | Home