You may know them as Caswell Tire Service. Since 1963 the establishment has been a steadfast location on Main Street in Yanceyville that beckons those with vehicle trouble or needs to stop in. As with many of the places I have had the chance to visit, providing a snap shot of our local businesses, this one aligns with what I believe is a common thread to those of us raised here or nearby, often taught to be humble and don’t brag. So not wanting to be in the spotlight, but so pleased of the life decisions their children are making, owners Jerry and Jenny Potter agreed to be featured. Given the stress COVID-19 has had on our small businesses, it is good to hear the stories of our core businesses and the Chamber is honored to be able to spotlight this within our community.
Did you know that the Potter family has very deep seeded roots in the automotive industry? In the 1940s, the late Lee Potter owned a garage in Leasburg and developed a reputation as an A-1 mechanic. In the early 1960’s the lineage continued when the late, Carl Potter and Lee Potter jointly owned and operated the North End Esso gas station and garage in Reidsville. In the mid 1960’s Carl Potter operated Potter’s Garage in Blanch.
The bug to be in the automotive business clearly comes naturally. When Jerry and Jenny decided to purchase Caswell Tire Service in 2006, Jerry had a flourishing career in the automotive engineering sector but knew how important it was to live in an area where the family could be surrounded by family and a community that would help to keep them grounded.
Speaking with Jerry and Jenny it is clear how proud they are of their children. You may have met their oldest daughter Becky smiling at the front desk at Caswell Tire before she chose to pursue a career in the medical field. Becky went on to graduate from the Watts School of Nursing. Eldest son, Joe, after college, wanted to return to work alongside his dad, but Jerry insisted that Joe make it on his own for a few years and then if he decided working in the family business was what he wanted, then so be it. And just last year, Joe did return as a diagnostician after making a name for himself as a diesel technician. In fact, Joe holds multiple certifications for diesel engines and ASE certifications as well. Joe has been recognized numerous times for his knowledge and accomplishments since entering a diesel career.
Jerry and Jenny’s next son, David, is currently in college majoring in mechanical engineering with a specialization in motor sports and spends time working alongside the family when he can. David has consistently met the criteria for the Chancellor’s list. Carl, the third son has put his talents to work as a technician at the shop and is currently pursuing an education in diesel technologies. You can also find their youngest son, John working alongside his family to learn their strong work principles and learn the family business.
With the new blood in the business, the future is certainly bright for this family of auto techs. Together they have brainstormed about the business’ future, how to be more present in the community and are in the process of rebranding the business overall. You may have already seen their new name, Caswell Auto & Diesel. Many exciting opportunities for growth are here as the new helm of Potters make their mark. I would venture to guess that there will be some exciting things happening here in the future. With our county on the way between the motorsports areas in region and the economic development projects both here and in Danville, the opportunity for an organization like this to flourish in Caswell has never been better. And to give the ladies of the family equal time, in the midst of the COVID 19 crisis Jenny has just graduated with a degree in nursing. This has been one of her lifelong goals and she will soon begin her career as a nurse at Duke University Hospital. What a great example of showing your children it is never too late to pursue your dreams. And not to be left out, there is one more Potter daughter at home, Katie, my bet is that she will be a big catalyst in keeping all the boys in check!
As featured in The Caswell Messenger June 3, 2010
Written by AC Hodges