After 35 years in the business, Marty Pelker of Auto One Lincoln Park handed off the reins of the store to new owners Lee and Rhonda Temple this year and started his retirement. There were a few factors that went into his decision, but one of them was that he wanted to make sure his legacy continued after he was gone.
The process began in earnest about a year and a half ago when Marty started discussions with Lee and Rhonda to purchase the store.
“I wanted them to be successful with minimal hardships,” Pelker said.
While waiting for the deal to finalize, Pelker and the new owners worked together so it would be a seamless transition for Auto One customers. They had a trial run for a few months at the end of 2019. COVID-19 slowed down the process of selling the store, but the deal closed in August 2020, and Pelker moved onto retirement.
“It was time for someone else to take what I built and continue to build upon it,” he said.
It’s the Friendships
Pelker has a lot of great memories from his time with Auto One, but the main thing he appreciates is the people he met.
“I feel proudest of my employees,” Pelker said. “I was able to see them grow up, marry, buy houses, raise families, and, in many cases, build on their work experience with me and go on to better careers. Then they would come back to have work done or just to visit.”
He also enjoyed doing advertising and promotions for the store, including being interviewed on television and the radio.
Pelker said he will miss his customers, but he will probably still see them from time to time. “I live close enough to run into former customers in other retail situations. I forged some good friendships,” he said.
As for his plans with his free time, Marty thinks he may end up working part-time someday, but right now he’s going to enjoy his hobbies.
Everyone at Auto One wishes Marty the best of luck during these golden years. We know that Auto One Lincoln Park customers will receive the same expert service under new owners Lee and Rhonda.