New tire emporium to roll out in the fall

Observer photo by Jess Wisloski Site of the new Town Fair Tire Center at the corner of Marshall Avenue and Harvest Lane.
Observer photo by Jess Wisloski
Site of the new Town Fair Tire Center at the corner of Marshall Avenue and Harvest Lane.

Jess Wisloski

Observer staff

A new tire center that has been under construction at the corner of Marshall Avenue and Harvest Lane is set to open in October, a company executive said this week.

The store, called Town Fair Tire Center, will be the 95th location for the New England-based company, and only the second in Vermont.

Williston approved the 10,800 square-foot building for Town Fair Tire back in 2015, and while the majority of the footprint of the new building will be used for the tire center, an 1,800 square-foot unit will go to another tenant that has not yet been determined.

The privately-held company, which is based in Fairfield, Conn., has been in business since 1967, and its focus is on tires and great customer service, said Mike Barbaro, senior vice president of the company.

Barbaro, who has been with the company for 39 years, said Williston had been on the list for a new location, and he thought they’d bring a trademark efficiency and expertise to the market.

“All we do is tires and custom wheels, we don’t do any automotive repair,” he said. “We specialize in tires, and that’s all we’ve done since 1967. We consider ourselves well versed in tires and we stick to one product and we strive for the best in customer service,” he said.

“We sell every brand and every type” of tire, he said, and while employees guide customers in the selection process, they’re “happy with any selection the customer makes. It’s more of an information-type sale, no pressure.”

With winter tire season comes the standard traffic-jam of appointments in Vermont, and when asked how Town Fair would improve on the experience many drivers have of not being able to book an appointment after the first snow hits the ground, he said the company has two methods for booking changeovers that he hopes will keep customers happy.

“Tires don’t just pop on and pop off in five minutes. What we do to try and accommodate customers is we have many different ways to not allow them to have to sit there and wait,” he said.

First, they do standard appointments, but a morning drop-off customer would have the tires on by lunch; a lunch drop-off would have the car ready by 5 or 6 p.m. They also offer a “send-away” service, where customers come in, pay for the service, and get a set time to come back for the changeover, which happens in about 20 minutes.

“Because we allow you to take your car with you…you can go back to work,” he said.

The store is set to open Oct. 1, Barbaro said, and by mid-August, they will be looking to hire staff for the facility. He estimated about 12 hires will be made, potentially more.