Meet Bob & Nita Tuck
Owners & Operators of Mr. Appliance of Lee County
Bob has been in the appliance repair field for decades, starting at the fresh age of 16 working for Dill’s Appliance. Dill’s was a General Electric-brand appliance dealer, and it was here that Bob learned his trade directly from the owner, Will Dill. For five years he worked under his lead—until 1985, when Bob would feel directed to join the Army. He became an Airborne Infantryman under Captain Mike Ferriter as his RTO. Ferriter, as it turns out, would later a retire as a 4-star general.
In 1987, Bob unfortunately suffered a back injury, so the Army honorably discharged him. He returned to Dill’s Appliance to find that new owners had taken over, and they weren’t bound to last long. Less than a year later, the new owners would leave Bob their entire inventory of tools, customer directory, all equipment, and more—free of charge. Bob found himself in charge of a full business with 20 years’ worth of customer ties. He started his own business under the name One Stop Home Appliance Center, which sold new and used appliances and services all brands, not just General Electric.
Joined by Nita & Joining with Maytag
Nita joined Bob in his business (and would later become his wife). She had extensive experience managing her parents’ pest control business, which had a fleet of 13 trucks at the time. Together, they began building One Stop Home Appliance Center into a profitable company. Four years later, Bob’s work caught the attention of Maytag, and they were asked to join Maytag’s network of Home Appliance Centers. They accepted, and became an award-winning Maytag service center for almost 10 years.
The End of One Chapter, the Beginning of Another
Unfortunately, in 2000 Maytag received a new president, who believed that all retailers should carry and sell Maytag appliances. That spelled the end for Maytag Home Appliance Centers. In 2004, Bob (ever the entrepreneur) considered leaving retail altogether to become a full-time service company. He began the process of getting to know the Mr. Appliance system, what they were about, and their values.
Bob liked what he saw. He took Nita with him on his second corporate visit to see if she would be able to get on board. Together, they understood that Mr. Appliance stood for something. After years of dealing with higher-ups who cared more about fast profits than creating strong businesses, they saw a team that operated by a Code of Values, who understand that there’s more to business than business.
They committed to opening their Mr. Appliance in October 2004. God, as Bob and Nita would say, was about to confirm their decision in the most unexpected and dramatic way possible.
On August 13th, 2004, Hurricane Charley made landfall and devastated the One Stop Maytag Home Appliance Center. Nothing was left standing—except Nita’s office, which curiously was not even mildly disturbed. Not one paper was out of place, while the rest of the store was reduced to rubble. When they called Mr. Appliance, their decision to join the team became a blessing as Mr. Appliance began investing support into the Tuck family and the community around them. From that day forward, they became Mr. Appliance of Charlotte without regrets and without looking back.
Who Are Bob & Nita?
This remarkable couple are more than business owners. They’re believers in the power of God, community, and each other to impact the world around them (in that order). Their courage, honesty, and faith drives everything Mr. Appliance of Lee County does and says. Their personal and professional investment in the community has made them a blessing to families all over Florida.
What drives their values? An unbreakable belief in the truth. Their commitment to honesty means Bob and Nita prioritize the truth above profits, so our customers know they can trust our word. That extends to our team here as well. Bob and Nita mentor our team with the hope of growing us into better people, not just better employees. It’s why our team has grown into its own little family.
To them, the awards of their job are fun, but their favorite awards are not the most prominent ones they’ve received. Nita was honored as Woman of the Year in 2013, and their company won 2008’s Franchisee of the Year, but their most important award is this: other business owners, struggling and discouraged, will often come to Bob and Nita for advice because they are known for being persevering, determined people. Bob and Nita agree that being able to use their experiences and story to help others is the greatest award they’ve been given in their lives, more than any other honor they've received.
How They Approach Service
While working as a Maytag Center, Bob and Nita had a quote by John Ruskin on the wall. John Ruskin was a famous art critic and philanthropist, whose words on business, art, and life are still relevant today. The quote that Bob put on his walls—a daily reminder for his work—went like this:
“It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money - that's all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot - it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.”
Bob believes in doing quality work for the price that quality work calls for. He understands that lowering his prices to the level of “$15 Gun-and-Run” jobs would mean hiring lower-quality employees, using lower-quality equipment, and scheduling jobs for volume at a much higher rate. This results, ultimately, in less for the customer. This is especially true for his company’s specialty service—dryer vent cleaning.
However, Bob also believes in improving the lives of his employees and customers. When it comes to choosing between what his customers and team needs vs. what is most “profitable” by modern business standards, Bob and Nita are proud to choose their customers and team every single time. When asked why people should hire Mr. Appliance of Port Charlotte, Bob simply answers: “Because I care!”