A Family Affair: A Sense Of Pride

The D’Antonio family proudly gather around the portrait of Gino—Tania D’Antonio, (spouse) of seated Rocco D’Antonio, John and Antonietta Di Biase, Iolanda D’Antonio - Gino’s widow and Maria and Gabriele La Farcioli (Photo: Di Nola Photography)

The D’Antonio family proudly gather around the portrait of Gino—Tania D’Antonio, (spouse) of seated Rocco D’Antonio,
John and Antonietta Di Biase, Iolanda D’Antonio – Gino’s widow and Maria and Gabriele La Farcioli (Photo: Di Nola Photography)

Founded in 1989 by their father Gino, the D’Antonios have carried on the family auto parts business.

Gino D’Antonio opened his first automotive truck repair business with a partner in 1969 in Concord, Ontario. They purchased truck and auto parts, steadily adding to a small parts inventory room to fulfill their needs. Eventually the auto repair businesses in the area would come to purchase auto parts for convenience, so gradually the decision to open up as an auto parts jobber came to be. It was decided to close the repair centre and the auto parts business was established soon after. In 1989, the partnership split took place and this is when Gino opened up Vaughan Automotive Supplies – on October 3,1989.

Over the years, Gino’s children have been actively involved in the business at different stages of its development. Maria, the first child, started working in the office in 1976 and her husband Gabriele joined soon after. Antonietta began working in the office in 1980 and eventually her husband, John, joined the Vaughan sales team. Rocco, Gino’s son, joined Vaughan Automotive in 1994, taking on different roles.

The Teamwork Advantage

Each person is versatile enough to assume each other’s responsibilities within the company, which is very important to be able to operate efficiently. This is one of the reasons you can say that Vaughan Automotive Supplies is a true family-operated business. Gino’s children and sons-in-Iaw have operated as a team and truly succeeded in the auto parts business. Gino strongly believed that a family that works together successfully also grows a winning business.

Gino passed away two years ago, leaving his three children and sons-in-Iaw to operate the business. His legacy still lives on and the family is very proud of his accomplishments. “Our goal is to carry on the best we can in good and bad times and always work as a team,” emphasizes Maria.

Great Customer Service

The D’Antonio family believes customer service is the #1 priority to be able to succeed in the jobbing business. “Competition is always a challenge and has changed the market considerably, but price alone doesn’t always make the sale. Some customers prefer first line parts over second line, so you have to be able to provide both,” states Gabriele. “This is why you need to have a good up-to-date product selection in your inventory. When Vaughan Auto first opened up the 18,000 sq. ft. warehouse, an 8,000 sq. ft. mezzanine area was added in order to expand our inventory.”

“Vaughan Auto is proud to have a strong and knowledgeable sales force, employing 25 people, with long-standing employees who have been with us for 20+ years. Some customers as well have remained with Vaughan since the ‘70s with new customers constantly joining us throughout the years – indeed, that has made us what we are today,” says Antonietta. “We thank them for their support and loyalty… and especially for the wonderful friendships established throughout the years.”

“On October 3 this year, Vaughan Automotive celebrated its 25th anniversary with many customers, suppliers and employees attending. A milestone event, for sure!” declares Maria.

The staff at Vaughan Automotive Supplies (Photo: Jack Kazmierski)

The staff at Vaughan Automotive Supplies (Photo: Jack Kazmierski)

Uni-Select Members

Another guiding light has been Uni-Select, the main supply warehouse for Vaughan Auto. This organization has been a part of their business for a long time, with Vaughan Auto being a member in good standing since 1989.

Antonietta points out, “They have a very good product selection and their inventory is vast. Their fill rate is excellent. Better yet, they’re constantly in contact with their suppliers. The SAX Program, Uni-Select’s pricing and rebate program, help us a lot and offer our customers many benefits and great value. The staff at the Brampton Distribution Centre is wonderful to work with. Their marketing program help our sales staff, along with their key suppliers. For example, the Monroe Clinics for training and technical advice are excellent… customer attendance is great!”

“Uni-Select is always open to suggestions we make to help improve our business,” Maria explains. “They come through for us all the time and are very helpful. The Brampton warehouse is easily accessible – we’re there constantly picking up stock. The Spring and Fall booking programs are excellent—giving us additional purchasing power, with the skid programs particularly beneficial.”

Reassurance and Reliability

“Belonging to a network like Uni-Select is a reassurance that you always know you’re up-to-date with great product selection,” notes Rocco. “Their communication bulletins are very informative. Their promotional flyers help us increase our sales. Their staff and sales force bend over backwards to supply our needs and their communications and networking skills are top-notch.”

“Uni-Select offers trips every year, allowing the members and their customers to participate. The Woodbine event is a big hit with our customers,” states Maria.

“The Uni-Select sales rep, Charlie Hutton, devotes much time with our salesperson to do onsite visits with our customers in helping to promote new products and promotions which help increase our business. We have an excellent relationship with the Uni-Select executives, Brendan O’Brien and Kam Sukhram.”

“Our company just recently updated our IT system to the new Eagle System, which provides innovative and up-to-date cataloguing, scanning, information and unsurpassable state-of-the-art technology. For the automotive Jobber, it’s very important to have a good computer system, to have information at your fingertips when the customer calls,” states Gabriele.

Proud of Their Business

Vaughan Automotive Supplies supports the Beck/Arnley import line, supplied by Uni-Select. Equipment and tools also make up part of the sales with national account sales also integrated through the affiliation with Uni-Select.

The management of Vaughan Automotive Supplies strongly believe that Customer Service is the Number One priority. You need to supply the order to the customer quickly and efficiently. Pricing is important in keeping the customer, but not in all cases. Good service, knowledgeable staff and honesty all play a part in the success of the business. Throughout the past 25 years, Vaughan has experienced the many daily challenges any business faces, but have certainly come shining through as an honest, well-run family operation… they are all very proud of what they have accomplished, and I’m sure Gino is indeed very proud of his family and their achievements. Today, Gino’s portrait remains prominently on display at Vaughan Automotive Supplies, a tribute to the founder who was such a hard-working, loving and devoted individual.

Congratulations to Vaughan Automotive Supplies on 25 successful years in business!

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