Our family has been providing service and comfort for families like yours for three generations. It is our ambition to provide each and every customer with 100% satisfaction every time we have the opportunity to come into your home. We are continually looking for innovative ways to provide an ideal home environment, energy and fuel saving solutions, and exemplary customer service. We have grown in leaps and bounds over the last 45 years. And we continue to grow and improve our services every day. The future of Tri-City holds the vision of a “one-stop-shop”, where customers will be able to call Tri-City for all of their household service needs. We know as a customer, you have many choices when selecting a company, and we thank you for choosing Tri-City.
Jim and Mac Warakomski started Tri-City Appliance, part-time, evenings, out of their house. They were off and running with a Connecticut State resale tax certificate in hand. The “TRI” in Tri-City was originally STRATFORD, BRIDGEPORT, and FAIRFIELD. The intent was to give it a bigger name, something they could grow into, rather than just “Jim’s” or “J&M” Appliance Repair, which sounded too generic. Jim says he was never happy or completely satisfied with the name “Tri-City Appliance.” “I didn’t consider it original enough” he said. But being pushed for time, the state registration papers were due; he decided to go with “Tri-City” intent on changing the name later. He says, perhaps this was the impetus to having come up with “Instant Aspirin for Appliance Headaches” as the company logo by line. Jim says, “It gave the company some identity.” This all happened about…
Jim made the business his full time job. “Mac” (McDonagh) – his wife – was his secretary, bookkeeper, appointment scheduler, child bearer, child rearer, disciplinarian, joke teller, and grief counselor during this time. When he felt she wasn’t busy enough, he had her cutting the grass, riding lawn mower of course…always the kind one. He remarked “We didn’t starve during this time, but we did postpone a few meals.”
Things got better and the family was able to make a 2 week trip to Ireland. Jim remembers, “The kids ages were 7, 5, and the young guy, (what’s his name?) was…?…very young. We were happy to see and meet Mac’s relatives and hopefully they were happy to meet the “Yanks.”
Mac and Jim grew the business and the “Tri” became many cities. The area changed and they now serviced the Milford, Orange, New Haven, and Hamden areas. Jim says, “We were able to increase business in this area by word of mouth, family by family, great wonderful people in this area.”
Jim and Mac’s second son Seamus joined the business. John the oldest was successful in carpentry. Robert the youngest was successful in computers after a stint in the Air Force. The Air Force enlistment was on a bet from his father that he could never make it in the military (Jim had served 3 years). Rob won. Jim says the bet was worth it, “the flower child’s shoulder length locks were sheared to the scalp. Hair and rebellion gone. Almost.” John moved to Arizona. Got married. Had a child and enjoys life eating oranges on an orange plantation. On occasion he ships a case of oranges back east. Seamus chose the easy way – or so he thought – take over the old man’s business. After putting in some 16 hour days he wonders if choosing Arizona or the Air Force might not have been the better choice. Soon after, Seamus married his high school sweetheart Phyllis. Nine months later their first child, Amanda, was born.
Mac and Jim open a laundromat/dry cleaner. Seamus is left in charge of Tri-City Appliance. While he is not alone, he is left with more responsibility and longer hours traveling to East Haven.
Seamus grows the business from 5 employees to 10. The service area and revenue continue to grow. In September of 1989 Seamus and Phyllis’ second child is born, whom they also name Seamus. In 1990 Tri-City rented its first running office outside of the house, at 565 New Haven Ave, in the Hit & Run strip mall. After living in his parent’s apartment above their house, Seamus and his family move out and into their own house in 1994. In 1996 Seamus teams up with his childhood karate instructor, Pat Coyle, and open up Chung Do Kwan, a Tae Kwon Do school. Tri-City finally moves to its first property at 408 New Haven Ave. Seamus starts to sell appliance parts over the counter to bring in more sales and good benefits and retirement plans to hisemployees.
Laundromat is sold after successfully increasing the size and volume of business. Mac returns home to enjoy her grandchildren. Jim returns to Tri-City Appliance to bug the help.
Seamus is now fully in charge of Tri-City and Jim is semi-retired…paying the bills and aggravating everyone. Old bosses think they can never be replaced.
Tri-City Appliance has now blossomed to 15 employees, and Seamus has started another division called Tri-City Heating and Cooling with partner Jim Franze. Seamus starts going to seminars and hired Tom Maier from Action International as his business coach. Together they devise a plan to double growth of the appliance division. Offering high tech comfort systems & ideal home environments, Seamus looks for the next step to continue growing.
Tri-City Heating and Cooling merges with Superior Mechanical from Stratford, Connecticut – and with an aggressive business plan, the number of employees grows to 45 in the parent company, boasting a total of 24 trucks. Adding to the number of family members, Seamus’ brother John joins Tri-City after doing some work in commercial appliance repair. Our service area – originally three cities – now extends from Greenwich to Cheshire in the north and to Madison in the east, approximately 33 cities. Volume and revenue have increased just as dramatically. Not bad for a coal miner’s kid and grandkid.
2006 – Present
Tri-City continues its growth by merging with Comstock Heating and Air Conditioning. Tri-City is now looking towards the third generation to continue its legacy. Seamus’s daughter, Amanda now oversees the day to day operations of the company while Seamus is back on the road as a comfort consultant. Her fiance Chris is the lead technician in the appliance department. In November of this year they conquered uncharted territory for Tri-City with the addition of a plumbing division as well as moving into the Greater Danbury area. By merging with a company in Danbury, Everest Heating and Air Conditioning, Tri-City has been able to serve new customers in a whole new area! Tri-City has also been busy growing their Home Depot program, boasting 8 stores in Connecticut! Seamus’s son just finished his first year in college and is working torwards a business degree. Tri-City has also totally revamped their website, adding a scheduling component to make scheduling easy and accessible to their customers, as well as adding parts sales to the new website.
2009 and Beyond
In the near future, Tri-City is looking to maximize performance with electronically dispatched service men and an ideal 10,000 square foot state of the art facility (with PLENTY of parking). Look for Tri-City expanding as an empire into other trades like electrical and home energy solutions!.