PROVIDENCE BAY—A business like no other on the Island has opened in Providence Bay in the old J-Bob’s building. Named Ralf Island Truck Parts, the new enterprise is the place to go for parts for heavy trucks and automotive including lights, batteries, brakes, exhaust, calipers and so on for your vehicle. As well, the owner has just been set up with an RV supplier.
The proud new owner of the store is Renee Cranston who lives in Providence Bay and is excited to be the parts supplier. “It was my dad, Robbie Cranston, who suggested the business to me,” Ms. Cranston told the Recorder. “He was buying parts from Fort Garry Industries and they approached him about selling their products. He already has a business, Robbie Cranston Construction, and he suggested that I might want to do it. I was thrilled. I have always wanted to buy J-Bobs. My grandfather actually built the section of the building from the barn up in 1990. And the business is named after my niece who is going to work here in the summers.”
The company has joined with Can Am Exhaust to supply custom exhausts from hot rods to tractors. “We are the only ones around that have Can Am and Shutterworth products,” Ms. Cranston said in talking about the parts available in her business. “They can manufacture any exhaust to whatever is needed. We also carry a large selection of bolts and that are all class c and grade eight bolts.”
“We have all the automotive bolts needed,” her father added.
Before this business opened, heavy truck drivers would have to get their parts in Sudbury, costing them extra money and time. Ralf’s can have the parts in stock usually by the next day (although so far it has been every day). For transport of needed items that are not on hand, the store uses a courier or Manitoulin Transport. “We have a large stock and we are trying to carry the most common parts,” Ms. Cranston explained. “We also have storage in the back for boats, cars and trailers.”
Ms. Cranston is grateful for the buyers she has had so far. “The customers have been phenomenal,” she said. “They are very patient as I continue to learn new things. I grew up helping my dad fix his trucks and I thought I would now learn something new every day. I am learning hundreds of things every day,” she added with a laugh. “I couldn’t do this without my dad. I call him almost every day with numerous questions. He will drop everything and come and show me and give me a helping hand.”
Ralf Island Truck Parts will be having a grand opening on October 15 and everyone is welcome.
“My grandmother is baking a cake,” said Ms. Cranston. “We will be having a small barbecue, door prizes and some specials. Tom Wright, our Can Am exhaust guy who summers on Long Bay, will be here to answer any questions and show different exhaust systems. And we will stay open until 5 pm that day to accommodate people who have to work.”
Expansion is down the road for Ms. Cranston as she will be opening the take-out in the building and hopes to eventually open a gas station.
Ralf Island Truck Parts is open Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 am until 5 pm and Saturdays from 8:30 am until noon. For more information, call 705-377-7776.