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READY TO ROLL: Steed Tire under new management

About four years ago, Lamar Steed, owner of Steed Tire Service in Brundidge, decided he was “tired” and worn out. He was “ready to re-tire.”

But he didn’t want to leave Brundidge without a tire store and the right person to run it.

On Saturday, Steed and that “right person,” Markeith Blakely, will celebrate the Grand Opening of Steed Tire Company at 10 a.m. Saturday at 220 South Main Street in Brundidge. Residents from Pike County and surrounding areas are invited to this very special celebration.

The Grand Opening will be an opportunity for area residents to meet the new owners, Markeith and Samara Blakely, of the Shiloh community.

On February 5, 2018, the Blakelys became the new owners of the tire company that has been a mainstay in Brundidge since 1969.

Lamar Steed began working at the “tire store” in 1969 and purchased the store in 1977 at which time it became Steed Tire Service.

Steed laughingly said about four years ago he realized it was time for him to find a new owner for his business.

“I was tired and worn out and my wife, Shirley, was tired, too, so we made a decision to get out of the tire business,” Steed said. “We put the store up for sale but didn’t have any luck. One day, I was especially tired and Markeith just happened to come in. He was a trucker and a good customer. I don’t know what made me say it but I said ‘Let me sell you this business.’”

Blakely said he laughed Steed off.

“I thought ‘this man’s crazy,’” he said, laughing. “But I got to thinking about what he said. I knew he had a good business and, even though I didn’t know much about the tire business, I knew trucking. I thought I could make a go of it and, if I did, it would be something that my son could carry on.”
Blakely talked to his wife about the opportunity. She thought it over and came back to him and said, “Let’s do it.”

Three days later, Blakely went to Steed and accepted his offer.

Blakely didn’t know much about running a tire business but Steed agreed to stay on and work with him.

“And that has made the transition smooth,” Blakely said. “It’s now Steed Tire Company and I appreciate the opportunity to work with him and learn from him. My wife works part-time at Fort Rucker and she is handing the money part of the business. We have been fortunate that all of the employees have stayed with us and we’ve even added two. We got a great crew and I appreciate them every day. Without them there would be no us.”

Blakely said Steed Tire Company has held on to its our customers and brought in new ones.

“We are so grateful for that,” he said. “For us to succeed, we have to have customers. We are committed to outstanding tire service for this entire area. We appreciate all of the

customers who have stayed with us and welcome each and every new one.”

Blakely expressed appreciation to the city’s support and to Dixie Shehane at Troy Bank & Trust.

“She worked with us to make this happen. Without her help, we wouldn’t be here.”

Steed said when Blakely came back to say he was interested in buying the tire store, he knew Blakely was the right one.

“Markeith has a great personality,” he said. “He has a quick smile and meets the customers well. He’s easy to get along with. I’m so glad that I broke the ice that morning. He is the right one for Steed Tire Company and for Brundidge.”

The Blakelys’ son, Keyotis, is a graduate of Pike County High School and is attending aviation school. He is working in the tire shop and learning as he goes.

Blakely has quickly involved himself in the Brundidge community. He has joined the Rotary Club, the Brundidge Business Association and the Pike County Chamber of Commerce. He is a deacon at Mt. Olive Assembly of God #2.