Similar businesses often congregate in the same area.
There are the diamond and garment districts in Manhattan. The food shops of Arthur Avenue.
And the car detailers on Westport’s Post Road, near Bertucci’s.
For years there were 2, separated only by 4 lanes of whizzing traffic. Everyone knows Westport Wash & Wax; it’s a big operation, with a large sign.
For the past 23 years though, Ken Paolini has built a loyal following in the Citgo station across the street. He’s been there ever since he asked then-owner Gloria DeMattia if he could use 1 bay.
He and a couple of employees do it all: full detailing, vacuuming, door jambs, trunks, hand washing. (Occasionally, if there’s no time for the hand wash, they send business across the street.) Ken charges
$25 $140 for cars, more for SUVs.
Over the years — relying only on word of mouth — he’s built a great base of customers. He’s loved them, and they return the favor.
But now the station has been sold. The service bays are becoming one more convenience self-serve fast-food store, and Ken will be gone. He’s looking for a new spot, and may end up in Fairfield. (A few customers are scouting locations for him.)
In the meantime, he’s got 4 to 6 months left.
The good news: With the Citgo station closed, he’s using all 3 bays.