Josh Cherry: No Pressure
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter
PLEASANTON — Despite being raised in the automotive industry, Josh Cherry’s decision to remain in his family’s business wasn’t based on parental pressure or a sense of familial obligation; rather, it was one he arrived at independently after exploring other career possibilities. “My grandfather and father opened this business in 1980,” he recounts. “When I was 15, I started coming in after school to sweep the floors and stock tires. As I got older, I started doing oil changes and repairing flat tires, and after high school, I moved up to mechanical work like alignments and brakes. While my dad was happy to see me take an interest in auto repair, he also encouraged me to try different things, just so I could be sure it was what I wanted to do. There were a couple of times where I went and tried my hand at other occupations, but I always found my way back to the family business.”
Today, as co-owner of Big O Tires – Pleasanton, Josh says one of his favorite parts of his job is interacting with the shop’s clientele. “I enjoy talking with and getting to know our customers who come in on a regular basis. It’s a pleasure to serve them and it feels good to receive positive feedback about our work. I’ve even had a few customers bring us home-baked cookies, just because they appreciated what we did for them!”
A lifetime resident of the Bay Area, Josh lives in Livermore with his wife, Melissa, and their three children: Kaylee, Aiden and Nolan. “The Tri-Valley area has grown a lot since I was a kid, but it still has a small-town atmosphere. It also has good schools and it’s a good place to raise kids, so I feel lucky to be here.”
Outside of work, Josh enjoys getting out and about in the scenic Bay Area. “I just like being outside, whether riding my mountain bike up at Brushy Peak or going fishing with my kids,” he says. “I also like to go camping with my family—we do at least one big camping trip every year.”
In regard to his professional career, Josh espouses the importance of fostering a low-pressure environment where customer care comes first. “We want to treat our customers like family and friends, which is why we do our best to give sound advice and make things affordable for them,” he says. “Unlike a lot of dealerships that recommend unnecessary services just to make an extra buck, we help our customers by letting them know what they need now and what can wait until later.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Josh says he’d take some time to see the world. “I love to travel, so that would be the number one thing I’d do. I think it’d be fun to tour the United States in a motorhome, but I’d also like to go to Europe and see some of the big cathedrals and ancient relics. However, I think I’d kick things off by taking my family to Hawaii.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: If you could drive any car, what would you choose?
A: An Audi R8.
Q: Talk radio or music?
A: I enjoy music, but I probably listen to audio books more than anything else. I don’t have a lot of time to sit down and read, so audio books help me keep up with my reading while I’m driving or doing other things.
Q: What’s one book that you’ve found influential or inspiring?
A: “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand. It’s the true story of a World War II veteran that just shows you what the people who fought for our country went through.
Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
A: Probably the Fourth of July. It’s also my son’s birthday, so our family always has a big get-together complete with fireworks and birthday cake.
Q: What’s your favorite snack?
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A: S’mores, when I go camping with my family.