Walt Franczyk, the owner of Walt’s Point S Tires in Yelm, is retiring after nearly 40 years of serving the community, but his business will live on in the family as his daughter and son-in-law …
Walt Franczyk, the owner of Walt’s Point S Tires in Yelm, is retiring after nearly 40 years of serving the community, but his business will live on in the family as his daughter and son-in-law take over ownership.
Franczyk first opened up shop in 1985 out in Roy, before he eventually moved his business to Yelm. Franczyk and the business have created a well-known reputation for themselves. They were voted the No. 1 tire store in the Best of the Nisqually Valley in 2021 and provide a family-like environment.
Franczyk’s daughter Jennifer Palmer, and her husband Gilbert, will take over the beloved business.
“It’s amazing that the business can be passed on through another generation. This is a grind,” Franczyk said. “Most of the time the sons of these businesses’ owners take over. My daughter and Gilbert both worked hard for this and I’m very excited to pass the business on to them.”
The new owners know they have big shoes to fill, but they also know that if they do things the right way, business will continue to be successful.
Gilbert said he is honored to be able to keep the business in the family. He said he has a lot of respect for Franczyk, who he has grown close to.
“He’s been like a father to me and I hope I can serve the community as well as he did. He’s kind of a pillar in the community,” said Gilbert. “He’s known by his customers as family. He’s helped people out throughout the community time and time again. You know you’ve done something right when you have a customer drive all the way from Yakima just to get tires from him.”
The legacy that Franczyk leaves behind after his retirement goes beyond how much money he made, or how many sales he secured. It’s in the way he treated his customers or how he greeted them each with a smile, his family said. Aside from his customers, several of his employees have worked at Walt’s Point S Tires for over 20 years.
“Everyone who has interacted with Walt knows he is a lead by example kind of guy,” Jennifer said. “He’s out there working with his employees, changing tires and whatnot. As long as I’ve been alive, he’s been there at 6:30 a.m., six days a week.”
The old-fashioned work values Jennifer learned from her father won’t go anywhere, she said. While the business will experience some minor changes, like switching to a paperless format, it will still hold the same values and offer the same services.
“My dad taught us old fashioned customer service. That’s why he has done so well in business. He treats everyone like family, and takes care of their cars as if it were their own,” said Jennifer.
Following his retirement, Franczyk looks forward to being able to spend more time with his grandchildren. He said he looks forward to the little things he’s had to miss out on over the years, including bringing his grandkids back and forth to school. Franczyk also plans to travel across America.
“It’s been amazing being apart of a community where we enrich each other every single day,” said Franczyk. “It’s been great to be able to lend a helping hand and I know my daughter and son-in-law will continue to bless people and keep the community involvement.”
Above all else, Franczyk is most thankful for his wife, Sherri. As he put it best, “behind every good man is a great woman.”
“Without my wife, none of this would even be possible. She does the backend and a lot of times people don’t recognize that,” said Franczyk. “She does so much hard work behind the scenes and without her none of this happens. As a matter of fact, the business should’ve been called Sherri’s Point S Tires. She was the glue that held everything together.”
Jennifer said she is ready to step up to fill the gap her father’s absence in the business will leave.
“It’ll be some hard shoes to fill, but I am his daughter and he has taught me everything I know and he has prepared us well for this transition,” said Jennifer.
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