Garrettsville – Jerry’s back!
Jerry Kehoe has returned to his namesake, Jerry Kehoe’s Used Cars, at 10755 South Street, just in time for the business’ 35th anniversary. Jerry and his wife, Lynette, have bought back the used car lot from Eric and Meredith Hedges after a year-long experiment in retirement.
In fact, that’s why the Hedges asked the Kehoes for the option to transition out of business ownership. “They discovered it was tougher than they had thought, and they recognized that successful establishments in this town tend to be those that are owned by long-time local business owners.”
Beyond that, something else was drawing the Kehoes back to the car lot: “The people,” is Jerry’s simple explanation. “This is a people business much more than a car business. I love this business. We missed working with the people who walk through the door.”
It all began in 1979, when Kehoe established the village’s first used car lot at the coveted corner where Main Street, North Street, State Street and South Street all intersect. It was an opportunity for Kehoe to transform his hobby of buying and selling old muscle cars to a full service used car lot, complete with a garage for maintenance and repair, and and a friendly front office featuring buy-here/finance-here purchasing options.
Through word-of-mouth rather than advertising, Kehoe’s became known as the place to find a dependable used car at a fair price. Kehoe keeps an average of 30 cars on the lot, purchasing every make, model and mileage direct from new car agencies (not from auctions).
Keeping mutual respect and home-town friendliness as basic guidelines, “We try to help everyone, and custom-fit a car to the customer by asking lots of questions,” Kehoe says. While the cars are sold as-is with no warranties, Kehoe ensures, “We work out solutions to any car problems our customers may face after the sale. We help as best we can to keep people on the road so they can get to work, get their kids to school, and get wherever else they need to go.”
Kehoe has also been active in the community, 10 years on the board of directors for the Garrettsville Area Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Garrettsville Planning Commission. During retirement, Kehoe got involved with inmates at Grafton Correctional Institution, training them in woodworking skills and creating wooden toys to donate to poor children around the word through various missions.
Kehoe plans to stay involved even as he returns to business full-time. He hopes to see new and familiar faces at the car lot he established 35 years ago.
Jerry Kehoe’s Used Cars is open 9am-5pm on Mondays through Fridays and 9 am-12 noon on Saturdays. It can also be reached at (330) 527-5222.