From auto parts to gifts, changes are good for business Employees of Sturdevants Auto parts are, from left, John Harnois, Dave Anglin, Brad Kimble, Al Richardson and Jaque Anthofer. Not pictured is Bob Gilkyson. by M. Jill Sundstrom Businesses come and go, but in Vermillion, the norm leans more toward change, expansion and growth.
Vermillion Auto Parts, a long-standing part of the business community in the city, not only changed its name — to Sturdevants Auto Parts — but the store also moved to a brand new location at 900 West Cherry.
"Our main purpose in building the new store was to improve our efficiency and service," said Dave Anglin, who has managed the store for about three years.
Formerly located next to The Broadcaster, Vermillion Auto Parts began serving the area in 1959. John Harnois was the original owner.
"Thirteen years ago, the business was purchased by Sturdevants, but the name wasn't changed," Anglin said.
The company, of which Anglin is a partner, has talked about building a new store for quite some time, and this year, the time was finally right. With the completion of the new facility, came the name change, too.
"The company is growing so large now, name recognition is becoming more important," Anglin said.
The move, which was completed Nov. 16, nearly doubles the store's space, Anglin added — from 3,600 to 6,800 square feet. Parking space has also expanded.
"There's a night and day difference," he said. "We simply ran out of room at the old store. Now we have room to grow, which we will do by beefing up our inventory to benefit both our retail and dealer customers. We've got things now that we weren't able to offer before."
Sturdevants Auto Parts, which is affiliated with the Pronto brand, offers everything from air fresheners to water pumps. High performance parts are available, along with everything that's needed for basic tune-ups. Tools, shop equipment, car care products, light truck accessories, oil, belts and hoses, along with mud flaps, windshield wipers and ice scrapers also line the shelves.
"We also have machine shop service," Anglin said. That includes rebuilding engines, reboring, making hydraulic hoses, cylinder head work, turning flywheels and resurfacing brake drums and rotors.
"What we can't do here, we can send to our shop in Yankton where they have expanded services available," Anglin said.
A more delicate type of business, Ashmore's, has also expanded its 7 Court Street location.
"About 20 years ago, I started the store on Main Street in a building that had about 1,000 square feet of room," said Gary Ashmore. "Two and a half years ago, I moved to this building, sharing 3,000 square feet with Reedy Hardware."
Earlier this year, Joe Reedy retired from his hardware business and Ashmore decided to take advantage of the vacancy of that store.
"It was available and I wanted to expand even more so I'm buying the entire building from Joe Reedy," he said. "Now we have 8,000 square feet available."
The expansion was completed Oct. 1.
Ashmore's is more than a gift store — antiques and jewelry are also offered, at prices for every budget.
"We have the largest selection of crystal in town," Ashmore said. The store also carries everything from Christmas ornaments and nativity scenes, to furniture, figurines, gold necklaces, earrings and rings, greeting cards, fine candies, decorative flags and more.
Ashmore is appreciative of his loyal customers, who keep coming back.
"Once they come in, we have customers forever," said Ashmore, who runs the store with the help of Molly Walters, Elaine McNulty and Cleo Kosters. "People will come wherever you have what they want."