Genuine Paints, which opened in early October at 6631 S.R. 930, is a “flagship” store of NAPA and is the only one of its kind in northeast Indiana. Owner Bill Protsman was the owner of the NAPA store less than a quarter-mile west on S.R. 930 until he recently sold the parts operation and moved the paint sales to the new location.
“Our agreement,” Protsman said, “stipulates that we won’t sell parts and they won’t sell paint. We specialize in auto refinishing materials including paint and all the equipment necessary to do it. We can mix and match paint for any kind of car, truck, semi tractors and trailers. We haven’t sold any paint for metal roofs yet, but we could probably do that, too.”
One only needs to step in the door to realize that Genuine Paints is more than paint. Its rows of shelves display a variety of products from towels, rags, work gloves, welding equipment and hoses to liquid cleaners, plastic paint suits, air tools, gripping tools, rivets and riveting tools.
“Being a “flagship” store,” manager Lon Protsman, Bill’s son, said, “means that everything we sell here comes from NAPA. Our primary focus, however, is paint. We have six different paint systems that are based on price and quality. With between 2,000 and 3,000 paint chips we can match the color for any vehicle and can even package it in an aerosol spray can for the do-it-yourselfer.”
The new store’s market extends to body shops, heavy-duty fleet operators, industrial customers and do-it-yourselfers across northeast Indiana.
The Protsmans started converting the present building to their purposes early this year. Over the years the building had been used as a restaurant, a used-car sales office and an auto detailing operation. In addition to the Protsmans, Genuine Paints employs four other sales and customer service workers. Store hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m.-noon Saturday.
Bill Protsman has been in the NAPA auto parts business for 40 years. He opened and operated the New Haven store, and his son, Lon, started working with him after graduating from Northrop High School 33 years ago.