The name of R&T Tire & Auto Service may have changed, but customers will find that it’s business as usual. The 56-year-old company was recently acquired by Best-One of Indy, also a long-standing and family-owned Indiana business. With 35 years of experience behind it, Best-One of Indy welcomes the R&T Tire family into theirs.
R&T Tire began in the summer of 1965 when Ray Alexander and his son, Tom, used their first initials to name the company and opened a shop in Sheridan. In 1968, Tom’s wife Anita became part of the team. Ray retired in 1982, and a few years later, Tom and Anita’s son Brian joined the business. Soon after, Jim Kitchel, their son-in-law, and daughter Tina joined the company.
Between the years of 1987 and 2008, R&T Tire expanded to a total of five locations. Sadly, Brian Alexander passed away in 2017. At that time, the company made the difficult decision to reduce to two locations. The Noblesville and Tipton shops continued and the Kitchels took over running the day-to-day operations.
“Over the years, I have gotten offers. Why now, why sell now? When I met with the leadership team of Best-One of Indy, I was so impressed that they seemed just like me; their honesty, their close-knit operations and good customer service. We unanimously decided it was a good time to make a change,” says Tom Alexander.
Best-One of Indy cares about their people, and the communities their shops are located in. Coming into Noblesville and Tipton means that they will not replace people, but will instead welcome them into their family. Chuck Godby & Daniel Heald will remain leading the Noblesville team, while the Tipton team will continue to be led by Patrick Henderson and Pete Thomas.
“What sets us apart is that after 35 years, we can truly say we’re still local, and while we sell tires, we first serve people; from our team members to our customers. We serve on multiple levels, including giving back,” says Trula Womack, Director of Marketing for Best-One of Indy. “We go from raising money for Riley, to collecting PB&J for local food pantries, to collecting donations for local humane societies, and that was just last year – during a pandemic.”
Going forward, Tom will be a part of operations, Jim will join sales and operations, and Tina will be a part of the administrative team. Best-One of Indy employs over 130 team members in 13 locations in Central Indiana, offers the opportunity to get certified technical training while on the job, and placed in the top 5 in the United States in the 2020 Tire Industry’s Best Places to Work program by Tire Business.
“We are a one-stop shop for both consumers and commercial customers. We offer tires and services for passenger, light truck, fleet, semi-truck, RV and farm equipment. At the end of the day, family is truly who we are and we are excited to expand into Noblesville and Tipton,” Womack says. “Our team members are your neighbors. In the reviews we get, people know the names of managers, assistant managers and names of our techs. They have real conversations and interactions –that’s what creating raving fans is all about, and that’s Best-One.”
“I hope our employees see this as an opportunity to continue working for a company that cares about them as we always have,” says Alexander.
Best-One of Indy in Noblesville is located at 17016 Clover Road. Phone 317-773-3130.
Best-One of Tipton is located at 804 West Jefferson Street. Phone 765-675-6775.