It is pretty rare to find a small business that’s been owned by the same family for more than 60 years, but the Schoaf family knows a thing or two about it.
Brothers Chad and Clint are the third generation to operate Complete Auto Parts on Atlanta Highway in Gainesville. Their grandfather started the company in 1958 as a junk business, then converted it to a new auto parts business a couple of years later.
Over time the business grew and became a Carquest franchise six years ago; Carquest is a branch of Advance Auto Parts. Despite these changes, at least one thing has stayed the same- the commitment of the company and the Shoaf family to their community.
"Everyone that works for us lives here in our town and in our community," said Chad Shoaf. "When you buy local you're supporting a family that lives in this community. Our kids go to school here and we went to school here...I think it's just a way to help your community."
In addition to selling new product inside the store, staff at Complete Auto Parts offer services like turning brake drums and rotors, as well as automotive paint.
No matter what a customer is looking for inside Complete Auto Parts, a knowledgeable staff member will be able to help.
"It's our life and all the people who work here, most every person services their car, does their own thing on their car so that's what you get when you come here," said Chad Shoaf. "If you don't know what to ask, we explain it and show pictures...we're here to kind of just help that process through."
"The cars are becoming so advanced they're almost like computers, so you'll have a light that will cut on and you can hook it up right to another little computer and it will kind of tell you what's wrong. So we can do that too," Clint Shoaf added.
Complete Auto Parts also provides product to local commercial customers. Chad Shoaf says Complete Auto Parts drivers make around 100 to 150 deliveries to commercial customers every day.
The Schoaf brothers say that their company’s relationship with Carquest and Advanced Auto Parts means that they can access a larger inventory, which benefits them and the customer.
"[At] Other places, sometimes they got a guy in there working that he just doesn't really care...our guys that work for us, if we don't have it, they're going and searching at other parts stores, other warehouses, whatever they have to do to get it," said Clint Shoaf. "That's been the benefit for us, just the availability of the parts."
Carquest Auto Parts - Complete Auto Parts is located at 403 Atlanta Highway. The store's hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.
The Shoaf family also owns the Carquest Complete Auto Parts location on Moss Street in Cornelia. Store hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.
Small Business Spotlight is a periodic feature highlighting unique small businesses in AccessWDUN's 10-county coverage area. Have a business that you would like to see featured? Email the author at [email protected]!