PIQUA — Piqua Electric recently closed its doors, with owner Pat Jenkins saying the business was unable to continue competing with box stores and online suppliers.
“It’s a lack of business,” Jenkins said. He added that it became more difficult to find parts to sell at the wholesale electric supplies business as suppliers only wanted to supply new products, not parts.
The business has been around over 60 years since his father, Gene Melvin Jenkins, established the business in 1950. At that time, it was called Piqua Electric Motor Service.
“We did motor repair and industrial service,” Jenkins said.
Ultimately, in the late 1950’s, they went to selling strictly wholesale electric supplies — offering electrical components for lighting, wiring, conduits, industrial controls, etc. — and sold the motor repair aspect of the business to Tom and Don Jenkins, who opened Jenkins Electric. Piqua Electric Motor Service then became simply Piqua Electric. In 1960, Piqua Electric moved to its location at 114 Cleveland Street.
Jenkins said while he was studying at the Ohio College of Applied Science and gaining experience in the workforce, in the back of his mind, he was training the take over the business from his father. In 1970, he bought Piqua Electric from his father.
While running Piqua Electric, Jenkins enjoyed helping customers find solutions to their electrical issues.
“Probably the most rewarding (part) was problem-solving,” Jenkins said. He said he enjoyed getting customers the right supplies they needed and giving them a little guidance as to how to resolve their issue.
“I enjoyed meeting the people and trying to service their needs,” Jenkins said, adding it was a new challenge every day.
He added the bulk of his business was having the right parts available at the right time for the customers.
“They didn’t have to wait,” Jenkins said.
Following the closing of Piqua Electric, Jenkins does not have any plans to retire.
“I still feel the need to get up and do something constructive during the day,” Jenkins said.
The future of the former Piqua Electric building is still up in the air as the building is for sale. Jenkins said the business had five employees working there at one point.
“It’s something I’ve dedicated most my life to, and now it’s come to an end, and it’s time to move on,” Jenkins said.
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