MINERVA, Ohio — Customers of Unkefer Sales, in Minerva, Ohio, might notice some new landscaping, remodeled showrooms and upgrades to the shop, but the most important aspect of the business hasn’t changed, said Jake Wilhite, one of the company’s new owners.
Most long-term employees have stayed with the dealership so their understanding of the community and customers remains. “You’re still going to get the same great team,” he explained.
Unkefer Sales dates back to 1968 when the business was founded by Homer Unkefer. Continuing with the legacy of the Unkefer family is important to the new owners, Wilhite said. “They’ve always done a fantastic job and we’re proud to have that name.”
Wilhite and co-owners Dave Daywalt and Vince Naska finalized the purchase of the dealership last April and finished updating the facilities in December.
The changes reconfigured the interior of the dealership to make better use of the available space for the equipment showroom and parts area, said Wilhite. They also updated equipment in the shop, constructed a new asphalt parking area and installed new bathroom facilities.
Although the business will no longer be selling new equipment from New Holland, customers can continue to rely on Unkefer Sales for New Holland parts and service. The same ownership group owns Edinburg Tractor Sales just down the road, Wilhite pointed out.
“If you want a New Holland tractor or hay baler or whatever, we can still sell you that.”
Continuing to offer New Holland parts and providing repair service at the Unkefer location is an important part of their business in the Minerva area, Wilhite added. “We sell a lot of parts and do a lot of service on that New Holland equipment.”
In addition to Unkefer Sales and Edinburg Tractor, the ownership group also owns Coia Sales in Ravenna, serving customers across northeast Ohio.
Unkefer Sales continues to carry Kubota equipment and has added three new brands of equipment: Husqvarna, Hustler and Simplicity. The dealership also offers a wide range of parts for lawn and garden equipment in addition to farm machinery. They’ve been seeing an increase in demand for lawn and garden equipment, so they’ve added more product lines to serve customers better, explained Wilhite.
The dealership’s experienced mechanics provide service for farm equipment as well as lawn tractors, mowers and even smaller equipment such as chainsaws. Several of the mechanics on staff have more than 10 years of experience at Unkefer Sales and one has been on the staff for over 40 years.
Providing the equipment, parts and services customers need is a priority for Unkefer Sales, Wilhite explained. “One of the things that differentiates us more than anyone else is our customer service.”
While COVID-19 caused some supply chain challenges in recent years, product availability has improved greatly in recent months, Wilhite said. “The supply chain is definitely starting to open up.”
Customers who have been putting off purchases will find that more equipment is now available. Customers interested in Kubota equipment can also benefit from the company’s financing program, Wilhite added.
Although most lenders have been raising interest rates, Kubota continues to offer 0% financing.
Unkefer Sales is at 1115 N. Market St., Minerva. The dealership is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. until noon on Saturdays.
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