By Sarah Unger
For Garry Palcko, it was a passion that started with engine tinkering at age 13. It picked up speed with auto shop work at 16 and even racing a 1969 Camaro as a young man.
“All the money I made I would spend on my car before I even got home,” he recalled.
Palcko, a self-described ‘motorhead,’ is co-owner of Jule’s Tires and Automotives Service in Morrisville, Pa.
Working fulltime as a mechanic at what was then called Jule’s Tires eventually led Garry Palcko to management duties when the former owner became too ill to run the business.
Kidding around with Mr. Jules about one day owning the business proved prescient.
Today, Garry and Doreen Palcko are nearing 15 years as co-owners of Jule’s Tires and Automotive Service. Palcko’s Bruce, who practically grew up at the shop, is now a staff apprentice.
As president of the company, Palcko said he takes pride in the one-stop service he offers with his staff of five technicians, which also includes nephew John Mealey.
Making up 80 percent of their business are repairs, inspections, tune-ups, and alignments for cars, motorcycles, and ATVs. Tire sales account for the remaining 20 percent of business. Doreen, as vice-president, handles finances, marketing, and other administrative duties.
“No need to go anywhere else; we can do it all,” Palcko said from the shop floor, as cars and vans perched with open engine hoods atop five lifts.
He credits the breadth of the shop’s services to its technicians, whom he considers his business’s backbone. The technicians are well-versed in diagnostics and repair of both domestic and foreign cars.
“That’s something that we take a lot of pride in,” he said. “We see different cars every day. We fix everything.”
“Everybody is keeping their cars longer,” Palcko said.
He said he expects reduced new car sales to eventually lead to greater reliance on shops like his for maintenance, though it’s not quite happening yet. And though their expenses have skyrocketed, especially in the case of tires, which are petroleum-based, and delivery costs, Doreen agreed with her husband that they have resisted passing their rising expenses onto their customers.
They are committed to running a business that not only provides for customers’ needs with constantly updated equipment and services but also remains a good neighbor for Morrisville.
In fact, they were cited recently by the town with a “Bridge Street Looking Good” award for their commitment to updating and beautifying their 7,500-square-foot building and surrounding property, which accommodates the company’s towing and vehicle and boat storage services.
Jule’s Tires and Automotive Service is located at 535 W. Bridge St. in Morrisville, Pa. Open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, it can be reached at (215) 295-7141.