Piqua Electric Closes

Ohio shop closes after 60 years of success in the Dayton area

As a Texas company celebrated 75 years in the business over Labor Day weekend, another, similar business was forced to shutter its doors in small town Ohio, over a thousand miles away.

Piqua Electric, of Piqua, Ohio, a town of about 20,000 people just north of Dayton, announced its closure at the end of August. The shop did industrial electric motor repair and service, and epitomized a number of traits we associate with smaller, family-owned operations. Owner Pat Jenkins told the Piqua Daily Call August 30 the business was unable to continue competing with box stores and online suppliers.

“It’s a lack of business,” Jenkins told the Daily Call, adding that it became harder to find parts to sell at the wholesale electric supplies business as suppliers only wanted to supply new products, not parts.

The business had been around over 60 years since his father, Gene Melvin Jenkins, established the business in 1950. At that time, it was called Piqua Electric Motor Service.

Piqua switched to selling strictly wholesale electric supplies around the end of its first decade—offering electrical components for lighting, wiring, conduits, industrial controls, etc.—and sold the motor repair aspect of the business to Tom and Don Jenkins, who opened Jenkins Electric. Piqua Electric Motor Service then became simply Piqua Electric, moving to its final location at 114 Cleveland Street in 1960.

Jenkins said while he was studying at the Ohio College of Applied Science and gaining experience in the workforce, in the back of his mind, he was training the take over the business from his father. In 1970, he bought Piqua Electric from his father.

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