It’s that kind of personal connection with the community that has made Brentwood NAPA Auto Parts the city’s oldest family-owned retail business. The Wilson family has owned the store since 1957, when the business was located at the corner of Brentwood Boulevard and Oak Street. Now the shop inhabits a blue building at 7881 Brentwood Blvd.
In addition to selling everything from wiper blades to wrenches, the knowledgeable staff at Brentwood NAPA Auto Parts is willing to lend advice to those who aren’t mechanically savvy. The store carries parts for foreign and domestic cars, trucks, boats and nearly everything else with a motor.
Rick’s ownership began first as a co-owner with his brothers. About 10 years ago, Linda and Rick became the sole co-owners of the shop, and the family legacy lives on: their daughter, Bethany O’Donnell, now works at the store, and Linda considers manager Brad Myers an adopted son.
Though the store is a NAPA branch business, it’s independently owned by the Wilsons. This gives them the freedom to better serve the constantly changing customer base, which has evolved from farmers to construction companies to a little bit of everything now.
“We’re family owned; we’re not corporate; we’re not a franchise,” Linda said. “We’re just adapting to what the changes are.”
The Brentwood NAPA’s independence has other benefits. As O’Donnell sees it, one of the perks of shopping at NAPA is that “the money stays in the community.” In addition to helping customers with their vehicular needs, the store plays a key philanthropic role. Every year, the Brentwood NAPA organizes a car show benefiting the Brentwood Regional Community Chest (BRCC). The event brings in thousands of dollars as well as pallets of food and toys that are distributed to the needy for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The car show has evolved from a modest display of 45 to 50 cars into a major event drawing more than 100 beautifully maintained automobiles from around the East Bay. This year will mark the eighth car show.
“We do that in August to just kind of start off the holiday season,” Linda said. “It’s grown.”
While the car show is the Brentwood NAPA Auto Parts’ headline event, the company also contributes to other charitable efforts. Currently, the store is a drop-off for donations supporting local firefighter Willie West, who is battling cancer.