Max Denning

In Union County, a group of local businesses are celebrating their 50th anniversaries — La Grande Paint and Glass, Commercial Tire, Valley Insurance and Blue Mountain Seeds. While they haven’t all been in the county for five decades, each are acknowledging 50 years in business.

Bob Kavanaugh, executive director of the Union County Chamber of Commerce, said he was impressed by the resilience of these businesses.

“The longevity of these businesses is not something that comes around every day,” Kavanaugh said.

For Commercial Tire, a chain of tire shops found in the western United States, this year marks 50 years since the company opened its first store in Boise, Idaho. Ben Davidson, assistant manager of the La Grande shop, said accommodating customers is key to Commercial Tire’s prosperity.

“You have to treat people right. You can’t take advantage of people,” Davidson said. “The main thing is helping customers understand what they need and why they need it.”

La Grande Commercial Tire’s commitment to customer service is evident in its future plans. Davidson said the tire shop is planning on moving to a bigger location on Mulholland Drive in February 2019. The new site will nearly double the amount of car bays the business has, which will cut down on the time it takes to help customers, Davidson said.

At La Grande’s Valley Insurance, there have been a number of owners throughout its 50 years, but the quality of service has been consistent, said Matthew Pidcock, the company’s president.

“It’s not tied to one person,” he said. “It’s changed hands over the years, several times, but it’s still the same values. The way we do business hasn’t changed: treating everybody right and fair.”

See more in Wednesday's edition of The Observer.