Brothers David and Stephen Sorbaro, 44 and 46 respectively, haven’t once touched the brakes since their parents Marion and Victor Sorbaro handed them the keys to their now 44-year-old company in the late 1980s. In fact, the pair has increased the store count of the retail and wholesale tire operation from 11 to 58 and has strategically spread the chain’s regional reach. Modern Tire Dealer ranks Mavis Discount Tire as the 12th largest independent tire-store chain in the United States.
The Sorbaros’ efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. Ernst & Young presented its Entrepreneur of the Year 2007 award for the metropolitan New York area to the Sorbaro brothers in the “Turnaround” category.
Success, says David Sorbaro, has come from a focus on the fundamentals. “I think the two keys to our success have been, first and foremost, keeping everything simple and scalable, so that stores could easily be added,” he said. “And, second, our success has come from creating as many efficiencies as possible—through electronic systems and logistics.”
But the younger Sorbaro is quick to say that the human factor played as much a part in the chain’s success as efficiency and scalability. “Knowing our business and knowing our customers has consistently been important,” he said. “And listening to good advice has served us well.” Some of the best advice came from the founder, their father Victor Sorbaro.
Co-owners Mavis Discount Tire Mount Kisco, N.Y.Annual sales: $100 million-plusType of business: Tire retailerNumber of stores: 58Areas of operation: Primarily southeast New York
“My father always said that buying real estate was the best thing anyone can do because you can walk on it and touch it, and it always goes up in value,” Sorbaro said. “Buying our locations as opposed to leasing them has proven to be a very beneficial strategy for us.”