BUSINESS OF THE WEEK
Vernon Lloyd Martin of Dayton always dreamed of owning his own business, and in 1972 the opportunity arose for him to do exactly that. That’s when he made the decision to retire from Shell and, along with his wife Dorothy, bought the local Western Auto, located at the time in a much smaller storefront location on Bryan Street, where they remained until 1992.
Not a franchise, but a true individually owned small business, moving to the larger location at 106 West Clayton was intimidating, according to Lloyd and Dorothy’s daughter Shari Ripkowski who, with her son Cory, purchased and took over operation as the new owners of Western Auto in 2010 when her parents retired. She said Lloyd was not sure how they could possibly fill the larger space.
With the extensive line of Husqvarna and Echo lawn tractors and equipment, Whirlpool appliances and Cooper tires, along with regular store stock, filling the space has not been a problem.
With a loyal customer base coming from Liberty, Hull, Batson and beyond Shari says, “We appreciate the patronage of all our customers.”
She also appreciates her staff. With 10 employees and almost zero turnover, that appreciation is obviously reciprocated.
Shari, along with her husband John, has lived in Dayton all her life. Their son, and Western Auto co-owner, Cory also remains a lifelong Dayton resident.
Cory has a daughter, Cami, who is 10 years old.
Lloyd Martin passed away in 2015. Dorothy continues to enjoy her retirement and still lives near her family in Dayton.