Bobby’s Muffler and Tire opens second store, acquires franchise

Published 10:20 am Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bobby’s Muffler and Tire has added a second store and acquired a franchise.

“We’re trying to do everything we can to maintain our company and meet the community’s needs,” said owner Bobby Cutchins, who 28 years ago, with his wife, Diana, founded the Franklin business.

Bobby’s Tire and Muffler, which will continue operating its store at 1381 Armory Drive, recently opened a second location.

Bobby’s moved into the former Lee Tire building in Emporia and acquired nearby Powell Tire. Both longtime businesses were merged and renamed Bobby’s Tire Pros. Employees from Lee and Powell tires were retained.

“I have a lot of family and long-term employees who work here,” Bobby Cutchins said. “We saw an opportunity to expand our business and support the Franklin-Emporia areas.”

In addition, Bobby’s Muffler and Tire acquired a Tire Pros franchise. This will provide for improved purchasing and marketing opportunities.

“Being a small independent, you need to be a part of everything you can to help,” Cutchins said. “They’re (Tire Pros) are real big on the West Coast and we decided to join up. Our goal is to strengthen our company in Franklin and grow in other areas as well. If it’s not good for the community, it’s not good for us.”

Tire Pros opened its first store in 1971 and has grown to more than 300 stores, according to its Web site. Most of its stores are independently owned and operated.

Bobby and Diana Cutchins started Bobby’s Tire and Muffler in 1982 in a garage near International Paper. The two ran the business alone.

Three years later, the Cutchins moved to Second Avenue and in 1989, relocated to College Drive at the current location of Rite-Aid. Ten years later, they moved the store to a new 8,000-square-foot building at their current location next to Wendy’s.

Today, Bobby’s Muffler and Tire employs 13 in Franklin and nine in Emporia. The business includes son, Robby Cutchins, who is the general manager, and daughter, Tonya Cornwell, who works as a secretary. Bobby Cutchins’ brother-in-law Greg Cutchin is the company’s vice-president. Brother-in-law Scott Cox is a service writer.

Diana Cutchins manages the office.

“She’s the backbone of the company,” her husband said.