Oct 12, 2023
Since 2017, members have been enjoying high-speed internet service thanks to Prince George Electric Cooperative’s wholly owned fiber subsidiary. Branded as RURALBAND, the cooperative’s broadband initiative offers a variety of high-speed internet options to best serve the needs and budgets of residents. Its guiding mission is to “provide a reliable and best in class fiber internet option for its members to improve the overall quality of life for its members”. One of those members serving as a testament to RURALBAND’s service is Van Cleef Auto Parts in Waverly.
According to Van Cleef Auto Parts owner, John Pearson, when you’ve been in business for almost a century, good service means adapting with the times – especially when it comes to having adequate internet access.
Founded in the 1930s, Van Cleef Auto Parts has grown from a family repair facility and auto parts store to a vital multi-location auto and diverse supply resource in the heart of rural Waverly and Wakefield.
The company’s Waverly location was built in 1971 and operated independently until 1995 when it became a part of the National Automotive Parts Association (NAPA) franchise. Today, the business operates in two store locations and three shops with more than 20 employees.
Pearson joined the Van Cleef Auto Parts family in September of 1980. “As you can imagine, I have seen our business transform tremendously over the last four decades,” Pearson explains.
When he first came to the Van Cleef family business, Pearson expressed how everything was handwritten – from receipts to service tickets. As the automotive industry became more innovative, access to the internet as a business in the industry became an increasing necessity.
Fortunately, RURALBAND was within arm’s reach of the family business.
Pearson says that prior to receiving RURALBAND service, communicating with a dealership used to take up to two days. “This would result in repair delays for our customers and limit our ability to provide the best possible service we’re known for,” Pearson says. “We do everything from auto care, hydraulics and tire service, state inspections, repair – making finding quality parts a critical part of what keeps our business going.”
Pearson also expressed that the business must remain diversified in its offerings to meet the needs of the area. Beyond its automotive resources, Van Cleef offers a diverse selection of services from towing, feed, seed, fertilizers, weed eaters, and more.
“When residents can’t get certain things in town, we’re here as a resource,” Pearson continues. “Thanks to RURALBAND, we’re in the 21st century in maintaining adequate amounts of diverse inventory.”
Although the business has expanded tremendously over the years after the passing of the original Van Cleef family members, Pearson is proud to say that Van Cleef Auto Parts is still a truly family run business. “I wouldn’t be able to do it without my family – especially my wife,” he continued.
Pearson has been married to his wife, Wendy, for the last 35 years and says she has been working at Van Cleef Auto Parts for the last 34 years. His son, Dillan, has been there his entire life and oversees the business operations when he and his wife aren’t there.
“Not only do we have quality service, but the key to our continued success is that we’re just blessed to have good people,” Pearson says. Just like RURALBAND, Pearson says Van Cleef is willing to go the extra mile and outside of the box to meet their customer’s needs in providing top-tier service.
While Van Cleef Auto Parts sits in the heart of rural Wavery and Wakefield, it joins the greater NAPA Network that offers 500,000+ unique parts, distributed across 57 distribution centers, 6,000+ NAPA Auto Parts stores and 16,000+ NAPA Auto Care centers throughout the United States.
Want to join the more than 10,000 members who have improved their quality of life with RURALBAND? Sign up by visiting RURALBAND.coop.