Tire business keeps ‘em ridin’ in the hood
By Marcus Wright
Special to the Michigan Citizen
DETROIT — Eric Hood is the third generation owner of Hood’s Tire Services, a new and used tire sales shop located at 10401 Mack at Garland. The business, started by Hood’s grandfather, Frank Hood, is 52 years old.
Frank Hood and his brother, Eric, moved to Detroit from Atlanta. They fixed tires on the Xway (by hand), saved their money and opened a tire repair shop on Rohns and Mack, and moved to their present location in 1984.
Eric Hood credits strong family ties to the longevity of the business. Hood’s father was named Frank Hood, II, and he, Eric, has a brother named Frank. Eric has sons named Eric Hood, II and Eric Hood, Jr.
“My grandfather sold me this business. He didn’t give it to me,” Eric Hood said. “I had to keep making it work just as he had made it work.”
Eric Hood said the way he made it work was to treat people the same. “If they were spending $1 or $1,000, treat them the same,” he said. “A mom’s and pop’s business is personal. There’s a lot of conversation between owner and customer. We’re all venting.”
Hood said he organizes other local businesses to sponsor events: clothing giveaways; summer time picnics with hot dogs and barbecue. “A couple of the motorcycle clubs have joined in and we’ve done ‘blessing of the bikes,’” Hood said. “We had 850 people last year at a family fun picnic right here at the corner of Mack and Garland.”
Hood said he was 7 years old — he’s 44 now — when he began hanging around his grandfather’s shop. “I watched my grandfather make a lot of money and I watched him help a lot of people,” Hood said. “Back then, Black people were loyal to Black businesses and they still are but life’s pace trumps loyalty. They get a flat, they don’t have time to change the tire and wait until they get to Hood Tires to have it fixed. Everything is ‘get it done right now.’”
Hood Tires is one of the last clean tire shops. Good used tires are hard to find in Michigan. “I buy tires out-of-state. The price is lower and the price to my customers is lower,” Hood said. “It’s a tough business but I wouldn’t change it for nothing.”
Hood’s Tire Service, 10401 Mack, 313.824.0026
Contact Marcus Wright at email@example.com.