By Mandy Christenson
White House Chamber of
Eulis and Naomi Biggs started their small engine repair shop in their home garage in 1974, while Eulis was still working full-time at the Ford Glass Plant. In 1979, they were able to build the 7,200-square foot building next door to their home on North Palmer’s Chapel Road.
By January 1988, Eulis was able to retire from Ford to work at the shop full-time. Eulis and Naomi raised their four girls at the shop and both Christy and Jane worked in the family business.
The couple credit their business success with a willingness to work on anything — all types of equipment and all brands — unlike the competition. They also took care of parts, sales and service, working long hours six days a week.
According to daughter, Christy, who was also the shop’s manager for more than 20 years, the shop was a passion for her father.
“This business was Daddy’s life,” she said.
White House Small Engine never spent much on advertising, according to Christy. Word of mouth built their reputation.
“The winning recipe is to take care of customers. Greet them with friendliness and respect,” she added.
Also, have a little fun, Christy advised.
In 2015, grandson Brad Williams partnered with his brother Curtis to continue the legacy of White House Small Engine, a legacy both Eulis and Naomi got to see before their deaths in 2014 and 2020.
“Mom and Dad were so proud when Brad took over the business,” Christy said.
Partners and brothers, Brad and Curtis have grown the business two-fold in both sales volume and the number of customers. They have branched out to include commercial accounts and employ three mechanics.
“It’s humbling to watch the boys continue the same path as our parents,” Christy said.
When asked for advice on how to become a legacy business in White House, Christy said to “simply treat your customers like they are family.”
“Treat them like family because that is the life of your business, that’s how we thrive,” added Brad.