New owners at Worthington NAPAWORTHINGTON — With an extremely experienced staff and a knack for fixing things, Matt Larson is happy to be the new owner of the Worthington NAPA Auto Parts store on Oxford Street.
WORTHINGTON — With an extremely experienced staff and a knack for fixing things, Matt Larson is happy to be the new owner of the Worthington NAPA Auto Parts store on Oxford Street.
Matt and his wife Brittany took over as owners Feb. 1. Matt has worked at NAPA since August 2011, and former owner Jerry Eykyn plans to stay on as a full-time employee for the next year or two, Brittany said. Knowing he would be there to help took a lot of the natural anxiety from buying a new business out of the picture.
“It just looked like a good opportunity — NAPA is a good place with quality products,” Matt said. “The staff is very knowledgeable and this place has a great reputation.”
Previously, Matt farmed and raised cattle, and still feeds about 700 head. Growing up, he learned to fix things from his father and uncle, and also from his brother-in-law John.
“I just kind of caught on. I guess I have a knack for it,” he said quietly.
Brittany is more outgoing when it comes to Matt’s mechanical ability.
“He can fix anything,” she said. “He can make things worked that haven’t for a while. He has a gift when it comes to fixing things.”
A large part of their enthusiasm for their new business comes from an absolute confidence in their staff. With three full-time employees, including Eykyn, and several part-timers, they know the store is in good hands at all times.
“What the employees here have done is absolutely amazing, and they have the store’s best interests at heart,” Brittany said. “We’re able to leave and know things here are in good hands. Without them, it wouldn’t happen.”
NAPA has a loyal customer base and is known for quality parts at competitive prices, according to the Larsons. They carry auto parts, tools, hoses and oil, and if they don’t have the part a customer needs, they can generally get it overnight. The Worthington NAPA also has two delivery routes a day, both in town and around the county.
With the years of experience comes a lot of automobile know-how, and the staff is more than happy to answer questions.
“We help people out as best we can and give advice to the best of our ability,” Matt said.
It isn’t unusual for a staff member to follow a customer out to their vehicle to take a look at a problem. Not everyone out there has someone to help with automobile problems, so the NAPA staff does what they can to keep customers on the road and safe. They also have a computer program that allows them to show a customer a picture of a part to make sure it’s what they are looking for.
Brittany helps out with the books, but is leaving the store in Matt’s hands.
“I help where he needs help, but this is his baby,” she said with a laugh.
The two are also in the process of adopting a real baby, so, along with Brittany’s job as principal of St. Mary’s School, they have their hands full.
An open house is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 8.
“There will be hamburgers and hotdogs and chips, and everyone is welcome,” Brittany said.
NAPA is open from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Matt or his knowledgeable staff can be reached at 507-376-6183.