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Iconic Boise auto parts store shutting its doors after 45 years

Posted at 9:27 PM, May 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-30 23:27:34-04
A piece of local history is saying its goodbyes. After 45 years in the Treasure Valley, the iconic Bow Wow's Auto Parts is shutting its doors for good.
 
Back in 1972, high school sweethearts Mike and Pat Thornton decided to open an auto store specializing in Volkswagens. They ended up calling it Bow Wow's and the name stuck.
 
"A lot of people thought 'who would want to name their business that', but you know it's probably been part of the success. People don't forget it," said owner Pat Thornton.
 
They founded the store with the principals that success to them means doing things right, doing what you say you'll do, and always being willing to help.
 
"When you work at a grocery store, you sell eggs, but nobody asks you how to make an omelet. Here you are responsible for the omelet. If somebody buys a part from you, you are responsible for what that person does with it when they leave the store," explained Pat.
 
They changed the store up a bit over the years, adding parts for other foreign cars, but it was those simple principals that kept customers coming back. 
 
"Most things that work are simple. It was a simple reason and probably that's here too, simple," said Pat.
 
Pat said she watched her kids and her kid's kids grow up in the store, she grieved the loss of her husband under the same roof, made many friends, and a lifetime of memories, but now she said it's time to shut off the lights for good. 
 
"It's been 45 years and I am now ready to retire. The store is retiring at the same time I am," said Pat.
 
Now Pat wants to focus on giving back through missionary work, but before then she has one last message for all of her loyal customers.
 
"I just want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart. I want to thank them for all the experiences and all of the past," said Pat. 
 
Bow Wow Auto Parts is having a yard sale Wednesday and on Thursday they will be having a farewell potluck to say thank you for all of their loyal customers at the store from noon to four.