PIQUA — A local couple is breathing new life into a family business, one that will be operated by the third generation of family members after almost 37 years of service.
“Hinkle’s Auto Service was started in the early 80’s by Ona Hinkle,” said Misty Hinkle, who helps run Hinkle’s Auto Service with her husband,Travis Hinkle. “We are the third generation.”
Ona Hinkle began the business on Sunset Drive in Piqua, working with his son, Steve, in the ’90s until Steve later took over the business.
“When Ona was no longer able to own the business due to health reasons, then Ona’s son — Travis’ dad, Steve — came in and ran the business until April of this year,” Misty said. Travis and Misty reopened the business in July.
“Everybody in the family works on cars,” said Travis, who has over 20 years of experience working on vehicles. “I’ve been working on and off cars since I was 12.”
“Grandpa Hinkle was really mechanically inclined and that was passed on to Steve,” Misty said.
Travis recalled coming to the auto shop when his father and grandfather operated the business, teaching him about working on vehicles. There might even be a fourth generation owner of the business one day, as one of their sons also comes to the shop, which is now located on Clark Avenue in Piqua, and learns about vehicle maintenance.
“It was never our life plan to take this over,” Misty said. “We just can’t let it go. We’ve been here for 37 years.”
With Steve unable to keep running the business due to health issues, Travis and Misty took over Hinkle’s Auto Service to prevent it from being sold to an unknown third party or possibly dissolved.
“It was really important for us to keep it in the family,” Misty said. “We came in, and we wanted to breathe new life into it. It’s been here for so long.”
Misty said customers have been glad to see Travis taking over the business, as he is someone they know and trust from having seen Travis at the business during the times his grandfather and father each ran the auto shop.
“They’re excited to know Travis is the one working on the cars,” Misty said. “Our customers have been fantastic.”
Misty added that they do not take it lightly that customers trust them with their vehicles. “We appreciate all of our customers,” she said.
Hinkle’s Auto Service, Inc. — 125 Clark Ave., P.O. Box 1156, in Piqua — is an all-service auto shop. They are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. They plan to add towing services to the business next year, and also plan on adding Saturday hours later this year.
For more information, Hinkle’s Auto Service can be contacted at (937) 773-9500 or email@example.com. They can also be followed on their “Hinkle’s Auto Service” Facebook page.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336