Faith leads Manley Tire & Oil to 'Top Shop' award

Jill Meier, Journal editor

Trudy Deutsch and her staff at Manley Tire & Oil were selected as “Top Shop” from a field of 140 tire shops in the country. Deutsch will head to Chicago in January to accept the award. Jill Meier/BV Journal

When Trudy Deutsch received the phone call notifying her that Manley Tire & Oil would be receiving Tire Review Magazine’s “Top Shop Award” this January in Chicago, she had no inkling that her business had even been nominated for the award. And when she learned the award had nothing to do with the volume of tires sold, but instead had everything to do with how God can move people’s hearts, she was humbled.
The bustling business – 35 employees strong – situated just across the border in Minnesota, was one of 140 tire shops throughout the U.S. to be nominated. From there, Manley Tire & Oil made the top 50 cut, then the top three, and finally was selected as the Top Shop.
“I had no idea what criteria was used to select the top three,” Trudy said. “When the rep called, the majority of the time was spent on our Christian beliefs and how they play into the business and the angel fund that we have set up. We never even talked about how many sales we had.”
Chris Kindt, a sales manager out of K&M Tire Inc.’s Tea-based warehouse, nominated Manley Tire & Oil for the Top Shop award. 
“In my eyes and vision, what Trudy and her staff do out there is truly what makes this award unique. It’s literally what Manley Tire stands for; it’s not about record sales. You’re not just a customer, you’re not just a number, you’re treated like family, and I wish there was more of that,” Kindt said. “They really have something special out there.”
Customer service, Christianity and a whole lot of kindness is likely what elevated Manley Tire & Oil to the Top Shop award.
“My customers have the most generous hearts,” says Deutsch. 
That generosity is displayed in the angel fund that was inspired by a customer who quietly offered to cover the cost for a young woman’s tires, an expense she didn’t have the money for. Deutsch said the act of random kindness happened several years ago, and she’s shared the story on their Christmas radio ad the last six or seven years. 
“It tells the story of when we were in the old office. It was a day like today – cold outside, snowy and a lot of people in that little dinky office,” Deutsch recalls. “This woman came in and she had a baby and said she needed four used tires.”
Unfortunately, the shop didn’t have any used tires to fit her vehicle. And just like a Christmas miracle, as Deutsch tells it, a tall gentleman stepped up to the counter and did something Deutsch never say coming.
“I can see it in my mind every single time,” she shares. “He wanted to know what she needed and then offered to pay for four new tires. She got up, with the baby in her arms, and said, ‘Sir, you don’t even know me. Why are you doing this?’”
In real life, he said nothing, Deutsch said.
“But he came back later, and what the commercial says, ‘It’s because I saw a need.’ It didn’t exactly happen that way, but he did this for somebody else ‘because he saw a need.’”
The first year the commercial aired, Deustsch said the phone started to ring. And the calls, they were from others who were simply moved to follow the man’s kind gesture.
“A woman could barely talk because she was crying. She said she wanted to call the last couple days but she would start to cry,” Deutsch recalls. “And then I got letters, I had people walk in and leave two or three-hundred dollars for people they don’t even know, and they’ll say, ‘Find a need.’”
Deutsch said she asks God to tell her when someone in need comes through the doors.
“That little story and that little gift of those four tires has done really incredible things,” Deutsch said. “It changed at how I look at giving, for one thing. Not that I never gave anything before, but it just changed at how I looked at giving.”
This January, Deutsch will travel to Chicago to accept the award.
“Everybody tries to be the best they can be, but this is something that I never thought we’d ever win. I just didn’t think we would measure up to what the top shop award meant,” she said. “I’m still not sure we’re deserving of it and hopefully we can use this platform for whatever comes with this. To God be the glory.”


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