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Centralia’s new small-engine shop thriving

Posted on Tuesday, August 9, 2022 at 12:35 pm

One of Centralia’s new family businesses is thriving.

B and A Small Engine Repair, LLC on North Jenkins Street is keeping small engines running and, judging by the shop packed with lawn mowers and four-wheelers, customers are happy.

“B and A,” stands for Buck and Allison, as in Ryan and Rachel Allison and Tom Buck.

Ryan and Rachel are husband and wife and Tom is Rachel’s father.

Ryan and Rachel Allison, and Tom Buck of B and A Small Engine Repair in their North Jenkins Street shop

They have been in business since May when they opened the doors at their shop on Jenkins Street, the former home of Custom Home Builders,” a more than 40-year-old business started and operated by Rachel’s grandparents Don and Berneita Buck.

“We want to run our business the same way they did,” Rachel said. “Family-operated, family-based and family-friendly. You can’t run a business on a handshake alone anymore, but we can try.”

Ryan, who after 20-plus years as a professional farm hand, said he sees the shop as a way to support the community and support his family.

Observing that almost everybody owns a lawn mower, a four-wheeler, golf cart, or some other device powered by a small engine, he said people would no longer have to take them to Columbia, Mexico or Moberly to be service. “And I offer free pickup and delivery between here and Mexico,” he said. “And I like making things run.”

One of the reasons he enjoys working on small engines, Ryan said, is they have been consistent over the years on how they are put together. “They haven’t gone crazy on the technology.”

Rachel, who also turns the occasional wrench, “I grew up working under the hood of a 96 Peterbuilt,” said the principles of working on an early 60s Murray lawn mower motor are the same ones they use when working on the Briggs and Stratton, Kawasaki, Honda or Kohl motors they find under the hoods of modern John Deere or other mowers.

She also keeps the books and minds the financial aspects of the shop.

The shop itself is part of their family theme.

For the complete article, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.