Get to know...Tad Kennedy of Kennedy Tire & Auto Service
We love the courage and grit displayed by small business owners who are following their passions. Tad Kennedy started working at a tire store when he was just 14 years old. Ten years later, he bought the business. We asked Tad to help us get to know him and Kennedy Tire & Auto a little bit better:
Name: Tad Kennedy
Business: Kennedy Tire & Auto Service
Title: Owner/General Manager
How would you describe your business to someone who hasn't had the chance to visit yet?
We provide fast and friendly complete auto care. We are located in and serve Edmond and the surrounding cities. We guarantee the best price, the best service and the best warranty.
Tell us the origin story of Kennedy Tire & Auto Service.
I started working in the tire store when I was 14 years old. After working in the tire store during and after college, I was able to purchase the business when I was 24. It was a four bay shop that sold tires and very limited automotive repairs. Through a lot of hard work, we have been able to grow the business to an 18 bay location that provides complete auto repair and new tire sales.
What do you love about operating a small business in Oklahoma?
There are a lot of real friendly people in Oklahoma. It is such a pleasure to serve these people and help them with their automotive needs.
What challenges or risks have you faced operating a local business?
Competing against the big chain stores can be very difficult. We have been able to provide a high level of service that sets us apart from the chain stores. A high level of locally owned service will always be valued by savvy shoppers.
What advice would you give to someone who dreams of starting their own business someday?
Be willing to work hard and be creative and provide the great service that people can’t get at the big chain stores.
What are the most popular items that you sell? What are your favorite items?
Whether it’s tires or auto repair or auto maintenance, we really enjoy offering our customers the best value for these services and products. People love our warranty that is four times longer than other automotive businesses.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
Serving others and helping them make what’s maybe a frustrating day into a better day. When people come in with car problems, they can be frustrated. We love it when they leave with a smile on their face and realize that we really care about helping them.
What’s the hardest thing about your job?
Helping people understand that we really care about them and we really want to help them maintain and repair their vehicle in a cost-effective way.
Who do you admire in your line of work? Do you have any professional heroes?
The most successful people in my industry are the ones that really care about taking care of customers and providing honest and value driven services. I have had the pleasure to get to know a lot of very sharp and smart business people that have high integrity.
Do you have any favorite moments or milestones since opening your business?
We have been blessed to be able to win the Oklahoman’s Reader’s Choice Award as one of the top automotive and tire businesses in Oklahoma City multiple times. We have also had multiple basketball players from the Thunder NBA team bring their vehicles to us. It’s always cool to see the other customers become very excited when they see an NBA player come to the door.
What is something that people might be surprised to learn about your business?
We can beat the chain stores on price, service and warranty every single day.
What motivates you to keep doing what you're doing?
My customers. I love helping people and making their day better.
In your opinion, why is it important for people to support locally-owned businesses?
Locally owned businesses are what keeps the community together. Whenever someone new comes to town you don’t ever tell them about how great the chain store is, you always tell them how great your favorite locally owned businesses are. That relationship, is what makes where you live a community.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
What was your first job?
Paper route when I was 10 years old.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Spend time with my wife and kids. I enjoy hanging out with friends and going to sporting events. Enjoy road cycling and traveling.
Is there anything that you'd like people to know about you or your business that we haven't covered yet? Tell us about it.
Jesus loves you and he has a plan for your life. We have "owners manuals" (Bibles) in our show room and provide them free to anyone that wants one. We are in the business of serving people and helping people, whether that be customers or employees.
Photography provided by Kennedy Tire & Auto
Kennedy Tire & Auto has been Edmond's favorite family-owned auto shop since 1974. Whether the need is repairs, tires, or maintenance service, they aim to deliver excellence to every customer, every time. You can find Kennedy Tire & Auto at 530 W. Edmond Road. Make sure you show them your Keep It Local Card to receive • 10% off auto maintenance & repair labor ($30 MAX), • Discounted oil & filter service ($3 Basic, $5 Semi-synth, $7 Full synth), • $5 off tires (certain brands) kennedytireauto.com