AMORY – Loden’s Body Shop co-owners, Leslie and Sheila Grant, recently acquired Amory Tire and Rubber Company, which was second only to Bill’s Hamburgers for longevity among Amory’s businesses, having opened in 1949.
“We’re operating both businesses under one roof. Loden’s Body Shop operates along with the tire company, which has been rebranded as Amory Tire and Alignment Center,” Leslie said.
The Grants purchased Amory Tire’s inventory and equipment from Barry Jones, who had operated that business since 1980. Jones and his wife, Kathy, are retiring after a 40-year career in the tire business.
“We’re still in the body shop business,” Sheila said.
Farrar Loden launched Loden’s Body Shop alongside Amory Main Street in 1958 in a storefront currently occupied by the Amory Food Pantry. Two years later, Loden moved his business to a larger location alongside Highway 278. His daughter and son-in-law have became co-owners after he retired.
Leslie paid tribute to his late father-in-law, who passed away in 2016.
“Ninety to 95 percent of body men in this area were trained by Farrar,” he said.
Both businesses have had loyal employees who spent a career with those businesses.
The third generation of the Loden family is represented by employees Shayne Grant and brother-in-law, Steven Summerford. Other familiar faces who work part-time with the business include police department investigator Andy Long and firefighter Donnie Sloan.
Leslie joined the business as a part-time employee in 1984 before becoming full-time the following year.
“We’re a small town family business. We love 99.9 percent of our customers,” Sheila said.