Dealer Profile: Smitty's Tire & Appliance: Grateful and Undaunted
Freedom to hunt, fish and run a business was incentive enough. Boren borrowed $100 from a life insurance policy to move his young family to Manchester. Smith loaned Boren $20,000 to buy merchandise, which back then included bikes, toasters, wagons, big and small appliances, black-and-white TVs, and tires. The Manchester store opened in 1955.
Smith structured a deal that enabled Boren to pay back the loan over time and plow his share of the store's profits back into working capital. Starting a business from scratch required effort and time, but family photos attest that Smith, Boren and their families also had plenty of hunting, fishing and good times. "Over the years Dad always appreciated the opportunity that Smitty offered him," Max Boren said.
If It Ain't Broke....
Retailing TVs, appliances and tires under one roof is "a strange but functional marriage, in a small town maybe even more so," Max Boren said. Whereas Cedar Falls' population of 38,589 is more than half of that of surrounding Blackhawk County, Manchester and its surrounding Delaware County population has held at about 18,000 for the past 55 years. Manchester's stoplights have doubled, however, from one to two.