Wilmington tire and auto store Hughes Bros., founded in 1921, turns 100

Tons of points have adjusted in Wilmington by way of the many years, and it looks the listing receives extended each individual working day.

Amid all that modify, even so, the towering, red-and-white cover for Hughes Bros. tire and vehicle shop at 11th and Industry streets has remained continual, and so has the organization beneath it.

Hughes Bros., which opened again in 1921, is celebrating a century of serving the general public this yr, the latest of extra than a dozen Wilmington companies that can claim 100 or extra several years of longevity.

Hughes Bros. on Market Street, circa 2000.

“When you go in a area, you kind of want to see the same faces. That is what is stored us going,” claimed John Allen, who’s been the operator of Hughes Bros. given that 1980. “We got grandkids of clients coming in now” whose mothers and fathers and grandparents commenced having their vehicles there many years back.

In truth, at least one Hughes Bros. employee “arrived with the building” when her father bought it 41 several years back, jokes John Allen’s daughter, Heather Allen, who does the textbooks out of an upstairs place of work overlooking Current market Road.

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Don Pierce and Mike Helms, who perform right with shoppers at the entrance desk, day their tenure at Hughes Bros. to the late 1980s. Helms mentioned that, as considerably as he knows, Hughes Bros. is the oldest car restore shop in North Carolina.

“This is our 2nd home,” Heather Allen stated, and the businesses’ 24 personnel “are like our prolonged household.”

Inside, factors look to be significantly like they have been when some of us (ahem) started off heading there more than 30 yrs ago. Hughes Bros. seems to be and feels like the unpretentious, old-university auto shop that it is.

Some of the reading through material in the ready area may well not be from the current calendar year, or 10 years. Aside from some banners advertising tires or posters for neighborhood sports groups (Hughes Bros. has prolonged been a big booster of University of North Carolina Wilmington athletics), scant attention is paid out to decor. It has what one may phone a easily gritty, lived-and-labored-in really feel.

Hughes Brothers Tires owner John Allen, right, works with longtime customer Harry Tuchmayer at the business in Wilmington, N.C., Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021. The Wilmington business celebrated their 100th anniversary earlier this year.

Safe and sound to say Hughes Bros. does not aspire to be a gleaming, spotless dealership-design and style destination. It can be just intrigued in having you some tires or fixing your motor vehicle.

Staff use computers to search up different sorts of tires and their prices, but invoices are continue to prepared out and filed by hand. Adhering to the outdated-college approaches as considerably as they are in a position, nevertheless, doesn’t look to have damage corporations substantially.