In 1971, Mike Gatto started Gatto’s Tires & Auto Service in Melbourne, FL. The business is now celebrating its 40th anniversary, according to Florida Today.
There are other numbers to note: Seven, as in how many stores the family-run business has on the Space Coast. And three, as in generations now involved in the business. It’s run by Mike’s daughter, Pam Gatto, with her two sons, Scott McHenry and Mike McHenry, and son-in-law, Mike “Kiwi” Nevin.
During their 40 years in Brevard County, the family has learned a lot about providing good customer service. Pam Gatto said the No. 1 rule is to hire quality people.
“We have a lot of good people who work for us,” said Gatto, whose is president of the company. “And they often tell me that they love working with us because they can be honest and straightforward and do the right thing when they take care of the customer.”
Mike Gatto spent 22 years in sales and marketing for Goodyear before striking out on his own in 1971. Pam soon joined him, and the family business grew from there.
She said, “Dad always told me, ‘We don’t sell tires and auto service. We sell safety and peace of mind.’ “
To help celebrate the 40th anniversary, Gatto’s is offering a few novel promotions.
“Anyone still driving a 1971 vintage vehicle can bring it in to one of our stores and get a free oil change,” Pam Gatto said. “Obviously, a 40-year-old car has received a lot of TLC to keep it going, and we want to make sure that trend continues into the future.”
And if customers stop by wearing paisley bell bottoms or other ‘70s attire, such fringe jackets, headbands or love beads, they will get a coupon for $19.71 off their next purchase.
“We really look forward to seeing them,” she said.
Gatto’s Tires & Auto Service stores are in Cocoa, Merritt Island, Viera, Palm Bay and Melbourne in the state of Florida. Learn more about Gattos (and about what happened back in 1971) at gattos.com.