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The Village People

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The Village People



The Village People

By Janice Llanes Fabry


Appliances are one of those things that we take for granted, but they make our lives a whole lot easier and make the house hum. And nobody does appliances better than Village Appliances, a 47-year-old family-operated store in downtown Port Chester.


While the majority of Port Chester’s downtown retail has vanished, Village Appliances remains standing, serving a loyal clientele throughout Westchester, Rockland, and Fairfield counties, as well as New York City and Long Island.


“Over the years we’ve developed great relationships with so many people,” said owner Joe Gagliardo. “I have customers who were babies when they first came in with their parents, and now they’re buying their own appliances.”


Gagliardo started working for owner Fred DeCesare in 1977 as a college student assisting with deliveries. Having earned his degree in accounting, he was on his way to becoming a CPA when he got sidetracked. He moved into Village Appliances’ sales, then management, and on to a partnership.


Village Appliances’ owner Joe Gagliardo, at right, and manager Jimmy Rosales


His wife, Cathy, has been the accountant since 1980. His daughter and longtime employee Marisa is a manager, as is Jimmy Rosales, who has 17 years of industry experience behind him. Both will be running the business as Gagliardo senior prepares to retire.


DeCesare passed away a few years ago, but much of the same crew is still there. One familiar face belongs to Walter Spangenberg, a salesperson there for 34 years. He and the rest of the sales team are genuine experts in their field. The entire staff is trained at the various manufacturers’ headquarters, so they know their products inside and out.


Although Village Appliances’ exterior belies its size, the two-floor shop stocks row after row of washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, ranges, microwaves, and barbeque grills, including Weber, Lynx, Wolf, and Viking. An attractive showroom offers vignettes of high-end brand appliances, including Wolf Sub-Zero, Cove, Thermador, and Viking. They have impressive displays of high-quality, more affordable core lines, such as General Electric, Bertazzoni, Amana, Kitchen Aid, Whirlpool, Maytag, Frigidaire, Electrolux, and Dacor, a high-tech brand available in edgy colors.


As for trends, appliances have gone from standard white to more commercial-looking. Kitchen appliances are often a seamless part of the space. Integrated refrigerators built into one’s cabinets, for instance, provide great customizing options. More and more appliances are going green. Even hoods and compact washers can be energy-efficient.


What about competitive prices? Rosales explained that Village Appliances has the same buying power as their retail chain counterparts. As a result, they pass down as many savings to their customers. Moreover, they can offer substantial rebates not available elsewhere.


“In addition to our prices, what distinguishes us from the box stores is customer service,” added Rosales. “We stand behind every company we carry, but we’re not married to any one brand. We sell our customers what they need.”


The staff welcomes walk-in customers, whether they are buying or browsing. All one has to do is check Village Appliances’ stellar Google and Yelp reviews to see their customer service is, indeed, unparalleled.


When customers come in dazed and confused about the information overload they’ve acquired on the Internet, the staff is on hand to help them sort it out. In addition, customers who find themselves scrambling because one of their appliances has broken down will find relief. The store’s warehouse is located right down the street, so they can provide next-day delivery.


As Rosales remarked, “We know it’s not enough to be good. We always try to go above and beyond consumer expectations.”


<For more information, visit villageappliancesinc.com. Municipal parking is located behind the store. Hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 9-5:30; Thursday, 9-7; and Saturday, 9-5.>




Village Appliances’ owner Joe Gagliardo, at right, and manager Jimmy Rosales



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