• Last modified 438 days ago (Aug. 6, 2020)


Family quickly flips Cardie Oil into new business

Staff writer

When Thad Looper got his chance to buy a tire service, the county resident saw it as the opportunity of a lifetime.

“I’ve done stuff like this, working on cars, all my life,” he said. “It’s always been a dream to do something for myself.”

Looper, a local resident for 20 years, recently bought what formerly was Cardie Oil. He bought the business, now called 56 Express Tire and Service, with his father, Steven Hart. Despite being new owners, Hart and Looper didn’t take much time to revel in their venture.

From installing new shop equipment to adding fresh paint for the waiting area, family and friends worked from the moment they moved in July 29 so they could get the shop opened Monday.

“There have been a lot of learning curves,” Thad’s wife, Katie, said. “We have a lot of friends and resources, and a lot of people who have helped get us to this point.”

Living in a small, tight-knit community proved helpful because the Loopers knew someone who specialized in each thing they needed help with. Katie sees the local assistance as a promising sign.

“We’re hopeful,” she said. “The community and everybody have been very supportive so far.”

Being first-time business owners, Katie and Thad say the experience can be intimidating.

“I’m excited, but you know, I’m scared at the same time,” Thad said. “It’s a big jump in life, something like this.”

The business will start out focused on oil and tire services for vehicles like cars and trucks, but a long-term goal is to cover more vehicles and handle more aspects of maintenance.

That prospect likely has a year before serious consideration and will depend on how well the business does.

“We really think we’ll be able to,” Katie said. “We’ll take it day-by-day, month-by-month, and see where it goes. We definitely have the space to grow and do more. It’s just a matter of how long it takes.”

Last modified Aug. 6, 2020