New owners and services at 38-year-old Ace Tire

Kyle Desrochers, the new owner of Ace Tire and Auto Center, stands with former Ace Tire owner Kenny Polverari. Mr. Desrochers purchased the business in September with his father, Rich. Mr. Polverari owned the business since 1975. “It was time for me to go,” Mr. Polverari said. “It’s good to see some young blood in the place.” —Steve Coulter photo

Kyle Desrochers, the new owner of Ace Tire and Auto Center, stands with former Ace Tire owner Kenny Polverari. Mr. Desrochers purchased the business in September with his father, Rich. Mr. Polverari owned the business since 1975. “It was time for me to go,” Mr. Polverari said. “It’s good to see some young blood in the place.” —Steve Coulter photo

After all those miles, it’s time to change the tires.

That’s what’s happening at Ace Tire and Auto Center, formerly known as Ace Tire, on Route 7 near Great Pond, where Kyle and Rich Desrochers have purchased the business from life-long owner Kenny Polverari who had run the shop for 38 years.

“I didn’t want to sell it to some chain,” Mr. Polverari said. “I wanted to keep it basically the same, with the same feel, and I feel very comfortable leaving it with these guys.”

The new owners will host a grand opening for their business Saturday, Nov. 16, that will include wood-fire pizza from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and a live DJ from i95 95.1 FM radio station in Brookfield.

“Customers ask about Kenny a lot, and some are happy to hear he’s moving on and some are upset, but we’ve gotten a lot of new customers so far, which has been nice,” said Kyle Desrochers, who lives in Sandy Hook and co-owns the business with his dad. “There’s nothing time can’t change — the more experience I get, the easier it will become.”

“People don’t realize it’s not that hard to fix a car — what’s hard is what’s wrong with it,” Mr. Polverari adds. “You have to be really intelligent and have all the right equipment.”

Mr. Polverari remembers being over his head when he first bought the property from New Canaan Fuel and Lumber back in 1975.

“I was in the landscape business, I knew nothing about tires,” he recalls. “My father’s sister was dating a guy at the time who told me it’d be a great tire shop and he backed me, gave me credit to buy some  tires and old equipment, and from there it took off.”

For Mr.  Polverari, the business was his life.

“Going to work in the dark, coming home in the dark,” he says, when asked about some of his favorite memories over the last 38 years. “It was long hours, but it was very good.”

He sold his house to buy the property at first, renting a place in Redding in the meantime, while he expanded the building from its original size of 1,500-square feet, adding 2,500-square feet to fit everything he needed to operate the tire shop.

He recalls “back in the day” when people had rear-wheel drive cars that required snow tires in the winter.

“When it snowed, we were busy,” he said. “There were cars lined up on Route 7 and then slowly it all changed from front-wheel drive cars to all-season tires — the industry changed a lot.”

Customer service was always something he prided himself on and he hopes it carries over to the new owners.

“You talk to them, you see them, you greet them,” he said of the customers. “That way you don’t have to talk to five or six service representatives and by the time you get off the phone you don’t know what was done.”

Naming the business took a little strategy and not much thought.

“Ace is the first name in the phone book,” he explains with a rustic laugh.

Despite the enormity of bidding farewell to his life’s work, Mr. Polverari is at peace with selling the shop to the Desrochers.

“It was time for me to go,” he said. “It’s good to see some young blood in the place; it was the best choice.”

Kyle Desrochers, the shop’s “young blood,” admits he’s had to learn a lot about tires, but he is no stranger to the life of a mechanic.

“I never had to sell anyone on tires before, so that’s been different,” he said. “There’s so much to know about tires, it’s unbelievable.”

He previously worked as a technican at J&J Automotive in Brewster and has been passionate about fixing engines ever since he was little.

“I think the turning point for him was when I broke my leg and one of our motorcycles fell apart,” Rich Desrochers recalls, proudly. “The only way it was getting fixed was if he fixed it and he did.”

Some of the new services of his business include major repairs to all vehicles, diesel repairs, transmissions, and front and rear ends

The shop will still offer alignments, rotations, and balancing services.

Since purchasing the business officially on Sept. 15, the Desrochers have remodeled the office, updated the diagnostic equipment and got new automotive lifts.

The most important new feature maybe the shop’s new hours, which have expanded thanks to the jolt of new blood.

“Toward the end, I started taking Saturdays off,” Mr. Polverari admits.

Now, the shop is open 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7:30 to 1 or later on Saturday.

Mr. Polverari says he will come back in once or twice a week when he can.

Although he’s in year one of owning the business, Kyle Desrochers is starting to sound a lot like the man who ran the shop for 38 years — the man who’s shoes he’s filling.

“I don’t get to see what the grass looks like at home anymore,” he said. “It’s almost like you’re living here — you go home and the next thing you know, the alarm is going off and you’re back here.

“It’s hard to get anything done during the day when you’re working like this.”

“Oh yeah, I know it,” Mr. Polverari chimes in. “I did that for a long time.”

Yep, after those miles, it was definitely the right time for a change.

About author

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© HAN Network. All rights reserved. The Ridgefield Press, 16 Bailey Avenue, Ridgefield, CT 06877

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress