BRISTOL - Angelo Volpicella, owner of NAPA Auto Parts on Memorial Boulevard, is starting renovations for the store as they approach their 50th year.
With new yellow and blue graphic designs and neon lights in the front lobby, Volpicella said it will be completely redecorated.
“While we buy products from NAPA, we have been an independently owned business since March of 1970,” said Volpicella.
After working on Wall Street for 14 years, Volpicella helped his brother, Lou, finance the space. Since then, the business has been family-owned and operated.
“My two sons work here,” said Volpicella. “As does my brother, John and my grandson and granddaughter.”
At one point, Volpicella used to own five different stores, one in New Britain, Waterbury and Thomaston and two in Bristol.
“It became too much to own all five stores. So now we have the one here in Bristol and the other one in Bristol. With 32 employees between the two locations, we are a hub for other auto stores. We have people coming from all over Wolcott, Bristol and Terryville,” said Volpicella.
A beacon to customers for more than just auto parts, NAPA Auto Parts also has a large inventory of supplies for boats, tractor trailers, farming and agriculture machinery, off-road vehicles, lawn and garden and housing equipment. They have over one million different products in their directory.
Volpicella said that the store is one of the biggest auto suppliers in the area, serving many local auto shops and gas stations.
“What’s unique about us is our large inventory,” said Volpicella. “We even have parts for cars over 100 years old, such as Model A Fords.”
A collector of old, classic cars himself, Volpicella can be spotted on Sundays sporting his iconic blue ‘57 Thunderbird.
“About two and a half years ago, we came up with the idea to have ‘Cars and Coffee’ every Sunday morning,” explained Volpicella. “It’s a time and place where people can come chat with some free coffee and breakfast and bring their antique cars to our parking lot. It’s a friendly time.”
From May to October, NAPA Auto Parts hosts an antique car show every morning, with an average of 20 to 30 different antique cars coming to stop by.
“One time we had about 60 antique cars come and the parking lot was packed. It was a great time,” he said.
Volpicella said that his favorite part about having his business in Bristol is the clientele.
“They’re not just customers,” said Volpicella. “They’re great friends. This is a very sophisticated market and we offer the best expertise here. We even have a machine shop, which not a lot of other places can say they have this unique feature. We wait on our customers with excellent service. If they need a part, we go and get it for them. You have to know everything from A to Z to get the right answer. There is no shortcuts or cheating and we offer our customers the best advice we can.”
NAPA Auto Parts is located on 65 Memorial Blvd., and is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. For more information about NAPA Auto Parts call them at 860-583-1616 or visit their website at www.napaonline.com . Make sure to check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Bristol-Napa for more information about their antique Sunday car shows.