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Husband-wife team own, operate NAPA Auto Parts store on Yosemite
Larry and Linda Lavery check their inventory for parts at the new NAPA Auto Parts Center that opened in August at 2325 W. Yosemite Ave. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL
Linda Lavery always had the plan to own her own NAPA Auto Parts Store after working her way up to a management position in Lodi.

And with her husband Larry’s extensive automotive knowledge gained from more than two decades as a working mechanic, the move to open their own store in August at 2325 W. Yosemite Ave. west of Airport Way seemed like the logical next step.

With several months of operation under their belt the couple is now focusing on building an established customer base centered on customer service and taking care of the patrons of their business.

“We saw an opportunity to grow up here, and decided that this was where we were going to start,” Lavery said of the W. Yosemite location. “It’s nice to come back to an area that I’m real familiar with.”

While other major auto parts centers are corporately owned, each NAPA store is operated by independent owners – affording those who want to one day own their business the opportunity to expand the National Auto Parts Association name.

But getting used to the new business, however, wasn’t exactly the easiest transition.

“It’s definitely a new way of life,” said Larry Lavery – now embarking on a career path that differs from his hands-on experience as a mechanic. “Getting in and learning the computer system was a lot harder than it looks.

“We’ve definitely come a long way. At first there was a learning curve that seemed like it was straight up, but three months of total immersion has definitely helped a lot.”

In addition to providing auto parts and catering to agricultural businesses as well as marine and off-road enthusiasts, the couples’ NAPA store is also a one-stop shop for somebody looking to pick up new tools or equipment necessary to get the job done.

Being in a community that has such a wide agricultural landscape gives the business a chance to cater to a customer base that doesn’t exist in some places.

“It’s nice to be here in a farming community – that’s definitely one of the groups that we’re looking to reach out to,” Linda Lavery said. “We’re slightly off the beaten path but we’re slowly growing and looking ahead.”

In addition to offering discounts for active military personnel and car club members, the store – located at 2325 W. Yosemite Ave. – is also a collection site for Toys for Tots. The business is open through the winter Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information call 823-9800.