By Deborah Bostock-Kelley News
Special to The Laker/Lutz
Rich Nicoloff was already late for church when he spotted a couple on the side of the road with a blown tire. He knew if he stopped, he’d miss the service. But, Nicoloff also knew he wasn’t the kind of person who could just drive past. So, he pulled over, explained that he owned Bella Tires in Land O’ Lakes, and offered to open his shop on a Sunday to replace the couple’s blown tire.
Nicoloff didn’t think much of that act of kindness, because he enjoys helping people as much as he enjoys managing Bella Tires, a business he opened in August, after a 27-year career as a criminal investigator for government.
Following the advice of a friend who also owns a tire store, Nicoloff found a highly visible spot for his business on State Road 52, about a mile east of U.S. 41, in front of the Pilot Country subdivision.
Bella Tires, which is named after Nicoloff’s daughter, offers tires and automotive services for personal and commercial vehicles and trailers. It has a drive-up port for semi-trucks for tire repair and replacement, and will soon be adding two new service bays.
Nicoloff buys his tires directly from the manufacturer (purchased through a distributor), which are of better quality than tires sold at box stores and national tire retailers. If he doesn’t have the particular tire needed, he will get it — even a lawnmower tire.
In addition to tire repair and replacement, other services include lift kits, leveling kits, brush guards, winches, car and truck accessories installed, oil changes, professional detail service, vehicle diagnostics, batteries and general mechanical jobs, charging systems, air conditioning, trailer axle service, trailer wiring jobs, and diesel truck engine service.
Nicoloff wants his customers to understand how and why a vehicle should be serviced, and offers a free lunch and learn for women on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
“I want to help educate women, so if anything is wrong with their car, they know at least a little something about it,” said Nicoloff. “I teach simple stuff, such as the importance of keeping your tires at the recommended pressure for fuel economy, and also so your vehicle handles better. I want women to know that when you get your brakes changed, always ask for your brakes back, because then you know that new brakes were put on your car.”
Servicing vehicles is only part of what Nicoloff loves about owning a tire company named after his daughter.
“I love meeting interesting people and being able to witness to them — that’s probably my favorite part of running Bella Tires,” Nicoloff says.
813-995-0777 • 19245 State Road 52, Land O’ Lakes, FL 34639