By Ann Luongo
Tiny & Sons is practically a household name on the South Shore, known not only for its excellent auto windshield repair and replacement service, but for the impressive level of community service in which the organization involves itself. And it has been a true family-owned small business for the better part of 40 years.
Peter Brown, president of Tiny & Sons, said, “My father started selling used windshields in the late 1960s. He would visit local auto salvage yards and save used auto glass. My brothers and I would ride with him on weekends and during the summer, and he paid us $4 a window.”
Brown was born and raised on the South Shore. In 1976, his father left his job to strike out on his own. Unfortunately, that was the year of the great gas shortage and the economy was in a downturn. James “Tiny” Brown and his wife had five children to feed. Brown remembers selling blueberries with his siblings at his house to help out the family.
Things did eventually begin to turn around, and Tiny & Sons became a business in 1978. “We worked part-time for (our father) until 1986 when we became part of the business,” he said. “We were just a handful of companies that started doing mobile auto glass replacements. My brother, Ed, and I took over the business from my dad in 2008.”
Brown attended Silver Lake Vocational, in Kingston, from 1974 to 1978, majoring in carpentry and cabinet making. He was also a Pembroke Call Fire Fighter from 1978 to 1981. “I worked at Scott’s News in Hanover for seven years until it became the first Mary Lou’s Coffee,” he said. An Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC) Master Auto Glass Tech since 1996, he also went to Ford Auto Glass Technicians’ School in 1998.
Brown’s father instilled in his children the importance of helping others and giving back to the community, and Peter Brown continues that tradition. He serves on a number of boards and supports many causes, and can often be found at fundraisers, networking opportunities or community outreach events. He is deeply involved with his community and believes that reaching out to help others is crucial. But again, he had a good influence in that regard.
“My dad was always involved in every aspect of community service,” he said. “I am most proud of the legacy my father left us. We are a community-based business, and he instilled in us a culture of volunteerism and giving back whenever we can.”
Some of the organizations Brown and his company are involved in include the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, where he serves as board chairman; the Auto Glass Safety Council, for which he serves on the executive board; and the Boys & Girls Club of Plymouth, for which he is chairman of the board. He is a trustee for both the Norwell Visiting Nurse Association and Plymouth Pilgrim Hall Museum, a member of Plymouth Lions Club and on the executive board of both the Pembroke Chamber of Commerce and the Talking Information Center, a reading service for the sight-impaired.
When he’s not mixing at a networking event or chairing a board, “I read a lot, all genres,” he said. He also enjoys going to the beach, NASCAR racing — “Daytona 500, to be exact. My wife and I go for our wedding anniversary every year,” he noted — as well as drawing and photography, traveling and spending time with his nieces and nephews. Volunteering is a big part of his life: “Mostly, I enjoy helping others.”
This local family business may have started out just as a dad and his sons scavenging for old glass windows in salvage yards, but it has since grown to 12 employees and has two locations – Washington Street in Pembroke, and Samoset Street in Plymouth.
“Our employees are family to us. They know that the company was created with family in mind,” he said. The Plymouth location “has turned out to be a great partnership,” he said. “We hope to expand to two more locations in the next five years.”
Tiny & Sons is certified and qualified as an auto glass replacement and repair business. It’s been audited and accredited by the Auto Glass Safety Council, and is known for its continuing employee education and updating of its equipment. Brown’s hope for the firm’s future is “to become the go-to for auto glass replacement and repair on the South Shore.”