Many times over the years, Jessica and Brian Reid of Gig Harbor talked about the possibility of someday owning their own business.
Then, in the summer of 2014 when the previous owner announced his intention to retire, the Reid’s dream came true with the purchase of Parkers Automotive, a 30-year-old business located at 3209 Judson St. at the intersection of Pioneer Way in downtown Gig Harbor.
The Reids, who decided to retain the name by which the business had already built a reputation, said the responsibilities of running their own shop were a bit nerve-wracking at first.
But now, as they head toward the summer of 2016, which will mark their second anniversary of ownership, Brian, 44, and Jessica, 42, said the timing was actually just right.
It was the first time in my career where I was actually happy. We got to do things the way we thought best.
Brian Reid, co-owner of Parkers Automotive
“It was exhilarating,” said Brian, a technician who has been working on cars for more than 30 years. “It was the first time in my career where I was actually happy. We got to do things the way we thought best.”
The couple’s business motto is “honest repair at an honest price,” a principle that appears to be paying off. Since assuming management, the Reids report that the business has seen a 50-percent jump in revenue.
For the Reids, both of whom are longtime Gig Harbor residents who graduated from Peninsula High School, running the shop is a true family affair. While Brian runs the garage, Jessica oversees the front office, where she greets customers, schedules appointments and keeps the books.
A finance professional for more than 20 years, Jessica was a financial analyst for Wells Fargo and also worked at the investment firm BNY Mellon as an operations manager before she and Brian bought Parkers.
“People are looking for an honest, realistic repair facility,” said Jessica. “We provide that for them.”
People are looking for an honest, realistic repair facility.
Jessica Reid, co-owner of Parkers Automotive
The Reids said they enjoy being part of the Gig Harbor community, a fact they demonstrated when the shop opened under their ownership in June 2014. During the annual Maritime Gig Parade, the couple handed out free water and candy to passersby, and also offered free face-painting for kids.
Lead technician Ray Bon, 24, said his favorite part about working at Parkers is the fast-paced work environment. In the constant rush to serve customers, time flies by.
Bon, who has known the Reids since he was a teenager, has worked for them almost a year and a half.
“I’ve known them most of my life,” Bon said. “It’s sort of like working with an aunt and uncle.”
The five-member crew at Parkers Automotive is very much like a family, complete with Jessica’s teacup poodle, Jacques, who typically can be found hanging out in the front office, greeting customers.
Longtime Harbor resident Gary Lynn, 65, has taken his cars to Parkers Automotive since the 90s. Lynn said he appreciates the family atmosphere that the Reids create.
“I can’t think of two more honest people to take in my car and work on it,” said Lynn. “I feel like I’m in good hands.”
Brian and Jessica said they would seriously consider the possibility of opening another Puget Sound location at some point. But for now, they are content serving the residents of Gig Harbor.
“The people are so wonderful,” said Jessica Reid. “The community has welcomed us with open arms.”
Allison Needles, a Tacoma-based freelance writer and member of MediaLab at Pacific Lutheran University, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.