It’s 1962. The Yankees won the World Series, West Side Story captured “Best Picture” at the Oscars®, and Larry and Erma Pettis read the classified ad that changed their lives .
That’s when Larry and Erma Pettis, both teachers, were looking for something to fill the summer income void. The “Fox pool dealer wanted” classified ad caught their attention and after further investigation, a big dose of “we can do it” and a small loan from “Aunt Mary”, Pettis Pools was born. Working part time after school hours and then all summer long with mostly teachers on the payroll, hard work and determination began to pay off. In 1965 the family garage was turned into a small store where customers could come for supplies.
In 1967, the first store was built on Manitou Road in Greece, NY, followed by a warehouse and display area that became known as the area’s only “Pool Park.” Son Steve joined the business, which was now a full-time endeavor. When daughter Julie graduated from college in 1987, she oversaw the opening of the East Rochester retail location that focused on outdoor furniture as well. The original Greece store was replaced by a new building in 1997. Our stores are so bright and welcoming that customers say they feel like the sun is always shining inside. Julie also oversees the Softub Express division.
Today, there are more than 75 employees during the summer season, some who have been with the business for more than thirty years. The family atmosphere is just one aspect of what sets Pettis Pools apart. The firm has expanded to include sales of above ground pools, hard shell hot tubs, portable Softubs, patio furniture (The East Rochester store boasts the largest patio furniture display in western New York!), accessories and chemicals as well as maintaining a pool and hot tub service fleet.
Sadly, Larry Pettis passed away from Alzheimer’s in 2003. As the company nears the half-century mark, Erma is on board part time as the younger generation takes the helm. The goal of all the employees is to be product knowledgeable, customer-centric and take a personal interest in the people who come through the doors. Old fashioned, neighborly service is the guiding rule.