After 41 Years in Claremont, Fleury’s Small Engine Repair Shutting Down
Claremont — Dennis Fleury was 19 in 1972 when he opened Fleury’s Small Engine Repair in a small building overlooking the Twin State Speedway on Thrasher Road.
Now, after probably thousands of sales and repairs of lawn mowers, tractors and more, Fleury recently decided to close the business.
“I sold my first tractor to my grandfather,” said Fleury, last week in his store. “It has been a great ride.”
After 41 years, Fleury, 60, said it is time to slow down a little, but not stop. Fleury will continue running Fleury’s Sales, a used car dealership on John Stark Highway in Newport, and take care of his farm in Claremont with a small herd of beef cattle.
Fleury is also trying to sell or lease Twin State Speedway. The track won’t be open for racing this summer, but Fleury said go-karts will still run on Sundays.
Between now and the end of the month, Fleury hopes to sell his remaining inventory of tractors, lawn mowers, grass trimmers and chain saws, along with assorted parts and accessories.
“Everything is going fast,” said Fleury. “We’ll be open until the end of March.”
Opening his own business was not Fleury’s initial plan after graduating from Stevens High School. A local car dealership was looking for youngster to wash its vehicles, and Fleury paid a visit.
At the interview, Fleury said, he was asked, “ ‘You’re kind of a fat little kid, do you think you can do the job?’ I didn’t know how to answer him,” he recalled last week.
“When I came home, I told my father and he said, ‘Why don’t start your own business and prove him wrong.’ ”
The small building was constructed for his engine repair shop. When he opened and decided to carry certain manufacturers, such as Stihl and Simplicity, Fleury said, it wasn’t based on in-depth product knowledge but was more a random decision, which turned out to be a good one.
Once the building is vacant, Fleury will try to lease the shop to another business.
Fleury said many of his customers have told him they are disappointed to see him close, but they understand.
“I think they respect that I’m getting old and not always feeling great,” he said.
Patrick O’Grady can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.