Waters Tires, a staple in the Woodruff community since the 1950s, will have a new building in the new year.
Greg Nix, the owner of Waters Tires, anticipates to be operating out of the new building in January. “We’ve outgrown this place, but really, our customers deserve it,” said Nix on why the new space is needed now.
Waters Tires has been located at 833 N. Main Street (across from the McDonalds) since 1961, but few probably know that this is actually the third location for the shop. The first shop was near where the Walgreens (recently the former Rite Aid) is located while the second location was in the 200 block of North Main Street.
The new building, located off Hwy 101 behind the Food Lion plaza, will have its entrance from the Carlton Duvell Road. Driving by the lot, you might miss the new building because of the tall grassy bank that is in front of it, but Nix says that the Department of Transportation is working to grade down the bank.
Nix chose the new location simply because the land became available and he did not want to move the business too far from where it is now. It was important to him that they stay close to their roots.
“People have been really good to us here and I am grateful for that,” Nix said.
Nix became the third owner of Waters Tires in 2010 when the former owner, Eddie Huckabee, retired. Nix and Huckabee both kept the original Waters Tires name. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Nix jokes.
However, Nix does not own of the current building. He leases the space from Jim Landford, a local man who owns several buildings in Woodruff area. Nix will own the new building.
A little wider and a little longer, the new 7,500 square-foot shop will have six bays and a warehouse area in the back where they can also work on larger vehicles, such as dump trucks.
With three bays currently in the 4,000 square-foot shop, only two are equipped to do under the vehicle work like oil changes.
“The new building will be a lot more efficient. We pride ourselves in getting customers in and out,” Nix said.
A new space also comes with new amenities. Nix is particularly excited about the play area for the customers with children. “[The kids] are our future customers too,” Nix said.
The new space will also have modern restrooms and a breakroom for the employees, who have been eating their lunch on the front counter at the old shop.
At this time, Nix expects to keep the same employee count, although he could see potentially adding a couple in the future. And with the additional space the new building provides, he hopes to eventually offer additional services like chassis work. He has to turn away customers now if they need that type of work done because it is time-consuming and can occupy a bay longer, leaving the staff without a bay to be used for tire services.
While Nix says he has never lived by a motto, he said his father taught him years ago that if you help someone, they’ll pay you, and that is how he has always approached his work.
“It doesn’t matter if they have a flat tire or just need air, if you could help somebody, getting paid is just a bonus. I get a lot of satisfaction out of it,” Nix said. “I don’t care if they drive a Pinto or Mercedes, help them. Take care of them. And I think that’s what makes us different from others.”
*Update – Waters Tire officially moved into its new space and is open to the public as of March 9, 2020.