By Anthony J. Machcinski
In October 2012, when Hurricane Sandy devastated much of the area, Rick’s American and Foreign, a Bumper 2 Bumper store in North Arlington, was no exception.
The business, formerly on River Road, was flooded in the basement with over twoand- a-half feet of water. But the damage incurred was not only focused on floodwater.
“On the second floor, the roof had blown off and the rain destroyed everything,” said Rick’s American and Foreign owner Rick Garofola.
After 14 years at that location, Garofola tried to stay strong and keep Rick’s right where it was.
Garofola and his staff tried to save the building, pumping out water and had the facility up and running within two days. Despite the work the staff had done, Garofola at times didn’t believe the business would survive.
“I didn’t know if we would pull through this,” Garofola said. “We took a big loss on parts and within the building.”
Even as the building was eventually condemned due to mold and other Sandy-related damage, Rick’s surfaced anew – finding a new home at 98 Ridge Road.
“It was condemned in January 2013,” Garofola said. “We had been looking for a building about eight weeks before it was condemned and we were able to move into our new place in time.”
Now securely in a new home, Rick’s American and Foreign has been able to use the new space as a chance to better suit the business and has just expanded due to recent success.
“We have a nicer, much more user-friendly store,” Garofola said. “We have a centralized location in the middle of North Arlington with more exposure and we’re looking to bigger and better things. We’re trying to cater to the retail market as well as the wholesale market. Being aligned with all the major automotive suppliers, we have access to even the most hard-to-find parts, even so-called dealer parts. ”
According to Garofola, what separates them from other retailers in the area is the service and experience of the staff selling auto parts.
Garofola, himself, is one of the most experienced auto parts dealers in the area, with almost 40 years in the business.
“Our team of experienced counter people are ready and able to help, even with the most intricate problem,” Garofola said. “Whether it be car detailing supplies, body parts, tires or hard parts, you’ll find what you need stocked and ready for quick delivery.”
Rick’s is located at 98 Ridge Road in North Arlington, next to H&B Drug Store. Garofola said the business offers free wiper blade installation, free battery replacement and diagnosis, free home delivery and free advice on vehicle service. For more information, call Rick’s at 201-991-4190.