October 7, 2013

BIZ BUZZ: Muffler shop opens on Burlington Avenue

Peru store owners say business is booming.

by Sarah Einselen Pharos-Tribune

---- — The owner of a Peru muffler repair shop says business is so good, the shop is opening a second location in Logansport.

Ross Stoppel, co-owner with Brad Latta of Thrifty Muffler and Brake on West Main Street in Peru, said longtime Thrifty mechanic Jason Hoff had been put in charge of the new Thrifty Muffler location at 230 Burlington Ave. in Logansport.

“Business has been really good,” Stoppel said. “We figured we would expand.”

Stoppel purchased the quarter-acre Burlington Ave. lot in the spring for $70,000, according to state sales disclosure records. The four-bay, 1,400-square-foot garage has already been operating on a limited basis after a soft opening this fall.

“It’s bigger,” he said, comparing the Logansport building to the two-bay location in Peru. “I like the way this building’s laid out. It’s kind of like a dealership, in a way.”

At first, Stoppel said he’d been looking at expanding eastward, and had nearly bought a building in Wabash.

“I had been looking for a few years actually to expand in another location,” Stoppel said. “I had been looking at Wabash honestly, but I was looking at the census reports, and I liked the numbers in Logansport. There’s probably twice as many people, the median income’s a lot more. It just looked a lot better on paper.”

Stoppel and Latta have owned the Peru business since buying it about 17 years ago from Mark Owlsey, who also owned an auto garage in Logansport at one time.

Thrifty Muffler hired two additional employees, one to fill Hoff’s former spot in Peru, before the Logansport location opened.

“As business takes off I imagine we’ll hire two or three more people,” added Stoppel. “I like the way Logansport looks like it’s growing, or going somewhere.”

Sarah Einselen is news editor at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at or 574-732-5151. Twitter: @PharosSME