Nick’s Auto Body Expands to Ohio with Boardman Shop
BOARDMAN, Ohio – Sixty-three years and a couple generations after the opening of its first location, Nick’s Auto Body opened its first Ohio location Wednesday.
Shane Caldararo, owner of Nick’s Auto Body, said the opening of the new shop marks the opening of their fifth location. This is the fourth auto body shop.
“We have been in business since 1960,” he said. “My grandfather started it. My dad took over in ’96, and I just recently took it over two years ago.”
During Caldararo’s brief time as business owner, he said he expanded to three more locations.
Caldararo said he drove past the auto shop at 690 Bev Road a couple years ago. At the time, the owner wasn’t ready to sell.
“We actually weren’t looking at all,” he said. “We actually just bought a location in Sharon. We were just going to take a breather for a minute, and this just kind of fell into our lap.”
Caldararo was told that the shop, Paul’s Auto Collision, was going up for sale. The business closed a few months ago, and Nick’s Auto Body was able to move into the building. Since the previous business was also a body shop, Caldararo said the move was much easier than some of the other locations.
“In Clarion, we opened a shop that was not running,” he said. “It was just a big steel building. I told my father, ‘I don’t think I could ever do this again.’ It was just way too much.”
Nick’s Auto Body’s main location is in New Castle, Pa., which currently employs 32 people.
“The first expansion was actually [done by] my father – New Castle Truck & Trailer,” Caldararo said.
A second, smaller auto body shop was eventually opened in Clarion, followed by the Sharon location. The new Boardman location currently employs seven people.
Caldararo said they have seen great success in their other locations.
With this being their first Ohio location, Caldararo said he was a little nervous at first. But after speaking to some of the locals, he now has hope for great success here too.
“We kind of went around and talked to local insurance agents and stuff,” he said. “It seems like you need a body shop over here. There is an abundance of work, and people are booked out for three months.”
Caldararo said current challenges for the new business will be marketing to a new lesser-known location and getting parts.
“The biggest challenge right now is parts,” he said. “We struggle with it every day. Before, you used to order it from your certain vendors – the same ones all of the time. Now, if you’re ordering a General Motors part, we order from five different locations now. It used to just be one.”
Caldararo said prior to the pandemic, the troubles came when trying to order parts for older cars. Now it’s the new ones.
Marcus Cook, COO of Nick’s Auto Body, has been a longtime friend of Caldararo’s. He joined the team in January.
“We have really been hitting it hard at the other shops, but this has kind of taken our everything for the past two months,” he said.
Cook said they will continue to strive for fast and quality work at the new location, keeping the same traditions since the 1960s.
“It brings some relief to the area,” he said. “We were talking about how people were still scheduled out until September, and I think that knowing that they can get their car in and get it out pretty fast, adding a shop like this will help everyone not be so stressed out when something does happen.”
This is the second location opening that Cook has been involved in for the company. He said this has been the easier opening.
“It is nice coming into a shop that had everything and was ready to go,” he said. “That helps, but there is still a lot that goes into it. It’s the stuff you don’t think about every day, but as far as the transition goes, it has honestly been the best that we could ask for.”
Although Wednesday was technically the first day the shop was open, Cook says they have already gotten a lot of bookings.
“When we were really starting to move stuff in here, we got people driving past, asking if they could come in and get an estimate,” he said. “Of course we weren’t going to pass them up.”
Cook said Boardman Subaru also had a couple of cars for them to work on. All together, he said eight to 10 vehicles have already been brought in.
“We had two people today already come in,” he said. “We’re on our way, and we are excited. Everyone has gotten to meet each other, and so far it has been good.”
For more information on the shop, click HERE.
Pictured at top: Shane Caldararo, left, owner of Nick’s Auto Body, and Marcus Cook, COO, at the new Boardman location.
Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.