The Fat Boys Family is celebrating our 50th anniversary in Wheatland next month. In 1971, Melvin Lenhardt expanded the Plains A-Z Tire Company from Cheyenne, opening his second location in Wheatland. Five decades and two name changes later, the family-owned tire shop on 10th Street, now known as Fat Boys Tire & Auto, is still going strong.
“I was eight years old when my dad opened the Wheatland store,” Fat Boys owner Kirk Lenhardt said. “I remember driving up on the weekends with my brothers and sister to help clean up the shop. Here we are now, 50 years later, and we still have customers who have been with us since the beginning.”
When Melvin Lenhardt fell ill in the late ‘90s, his family sold Plains A-Z Tire and his son went to work for the corporation that bought them out. A few years later, Kirk Lenhardt purchased back their stores in Wheatland, Cheyenne, and Laramie, and rebranded the company as Fat Boys Tire & Auto in 2004.
Lenhardt credits the longevity of his family’s business to their employees, including longtime manager, part-owner, and Fat Boys self-proclaimed “Vice President In Charge of Nothing”, Mark “Pork” Hohnholt, who passed away in 2017.
“Pork was a legend,” Lenhardt recalled. “Nobody loved Wheatland more than Pork and Wheatland loved him back.”
Following his death, the town officially renamed the little league baseball field Mark “Pork” Hohnholt Memorial Park in his honor. The annual “Pork Softball Tournament” is now held every summer during the last weekend of July, with proceeds benefiting a local youth scholarship fund in his name.
Pork’s younger brother Mike Hohnholt has now been with Fat Boys for 23 years and took over as the Wheatland store manager in 2017.
“The Hohnholts have been a big part of our Fat Boys family for a long time,” Lenhardt says. “We wouldn’t be celebrating 50 years in Wheatland without Mike and Pork.”
To thank our loyal customers and employees over the years, Fat Boys Tire & Auto will be hosting a free barbeque on Saturday, June 19th, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the shop on 400 10th Street. Everyone is welcome. Fat Boys will also be raffling off a set of new tires at the event and donating all of the money to the Wheatland Volunteer Fire Department.