Bryan Bigger was almost born into the battery business.
“My mother’s water broke when she was standing right here,” he said, leaning on the counter at Battery Headquarters, 821 Breckenridge St. “By the time I was 5, I was sweeping floors, taking the trash out.”
Bigger’s father, David, and his grandfather, Ralph, bought the business in 1972.
In 1980, they moved it from its original location at 737 Leitchfield Road to the current location on the northeast corner of Ninth and Breckenridge.
“I’m the third generation,” Bigger said. “Dad wanted to retire two years ago and I came back and took over.”
He was working at the Owensboro Convention Center at the time.
“We’re not anything fancy,” Bigger said. “We’re a battery business.”
But they’re actually more than a battery business.
Bigger started selling and customizing golf carts when he took over the company.
“Golf carts are one of the hottest things going,” he said. “Some cities allow them on the streets, but I don’t think Owensboro will because of safety concerns.”
Bigger said, “I was trying to branch out. I sold 100 golf carts last year and got in 20 new ones today.”
His web page says the store has more than 3,000 batteries in stock.
“We sell batteries for cars and trucks, motorcycles, boats, RVs, golf carts, farm machinery, industry, ATVs and more,” Bigger said. “But we don’t sell watch batteries.”
He said, “Our knowledge and time in business sets us apart. We try to stand out from other battery companies. When we install a battery, we always reset the clock and the pre-set radio stations.”
A lot of Battery Headquarters’ customers are 50-plus years old.
“I say Dad sold them farm batteries and I sell them wheelchair batteries,” Bigger said. “It’s sad, but I’ve done some of that.”
Traffic dropped off some when Owensboro Health Regional Hospital moved out to Pleasant Valley Road in 2013.
But, Bigger said, “Batteries are a destination. People will come to get one when they need it. These days, people use Breckenridge as a corridor for going downtown. There’s a lot of traffic.”
Today, Battery Headquarters handles eight brands of batteries.
“Interstate, Trojan, Motorcraft and Delco are the most popular,” Bigger said. “We’re the largest Interstate dealer in the area.”
He said, “Heat is the biggest cause of battery failure. People think it’s cold, but it’s really heat. Batteries last four to five years on average in Kentucky.”
For the future, Bigger said, “We own the property across the street. I’m thinking about a new building over there.”