By LISA CAPOBIANCO
When Don and Maureen Mikolajcik of Plainville started providing services and repairs for coaches and motorhomes about six years ago, never did they expect that their business, Connecticut Motor Cars and Coaches would expand to what is today.
Established in 1991, Connecticut Motor Cars and Coaches (formerly called Connecticut Motor Cars) serves as the only authorized Tiffin Motorhome Service Center and Power-Glide Chassis Center in the Northeast. CT Motor Cars also has over 30 years of experience in collision repair with certified technicians.
Recently, the Mikolajciks held an open house of their new facility, which is now located at 90 Town Line Rd. During a recent, exclusive tour with the Mikolajciks, State Representative Betty Boukus (D-Plainville, New Britain), along with Town Councilor Chairwoman Kathy Pugliese, Farmington Bank representatives, and Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman saw the entire new facility, which now includes 5,000 square feet of space for more offices and a parts room as well as a state-of-the-art kitchen, and a 20,000 square-foot garage where a dozen or so coaches can line up for repairs. Constructed by G&R Engineering within six months and service work assisted by Mizzy Construction, the new facility was financed by Farmington Bank.
(Both Boukus and Wyman are running for re-election in November.)
John Patrick, president and CEO of Farmington Bank, said he is thrilled to see the project come to fruition, calling the expansion an economic opportunity for the town of Plainville.
“That’s what we’re all about—to create economic opportunity in the state,” said Patrick, adding that Farmington Bank has continued to help out small and medium-sized family-owned businesses. “As we continue to grow in the state of Connecticut, these programs that are in place, have an economic multiplier. This is a perfect example of the public and private partnership coming together.”
“If we work together, we can get everything taken care of,” added Wyman. “It is exciting to see a young business…really thriving.”
Calling CT Motor Cars and Coaches a fascinating destination place for the customers it serves, Boukus said the business’s expansion helps keep the simulation breathing in the economy.
“Because the state has been forthcoming, because of the initiatives we put forward for small businesses, this is the result that you see,” said Boukus.
From California to Canada to Florida and New York, Don Mikolajcik and his team have made repairs for clients from all parts of the country. A number of items they service and repair for motorhomes include carpet, wood and tile, stoves and heaters, engine service, cabinets, windshield replacements, and more. CT Motor Cars also manages the insurance claim process for motor home or vehicle repairs, and handles all Tiffin warranty repairs and extended warranties, with a quick turnaround on collision and emergency repairs, according to the family-owned business’s website.
Don Mikolajcik, who has owned motor homes himself, said working with customers from all walks of life serves as a meaningful experience for his team every day, as many of them come from different career fields such as sports and entertainment, or business.
“It’s very unique,” said Don Mikolajcik, adding that a hockey player from the New York Rangers even came in for a repair. “It’s interesting because we get to deal with them on a one-to-one basis.”
Before CT Motors Car became an authorized Tiffin Motorhome Service Center, Bob Tiffin approached Don Mikolajcik and his wife many times about teaming up. Although they initially said no, Don and Maureen ultimately decided to give the additional service a chance, and then began working on coach repairs at their initial location on Whiting Street until an expansion was needed to keep up with Tiffin repair work.
“We’ve been doing automotive for 25 years, and we really weren’t interested in doing the RVs and coaches,” said Don, adding that Tiffin was persistent even when he referred him to other places. “Our customers kept telling him all about us, and I didn’t know it.”
After looking at a variety of places to expand their business, Maureen convinced her husband to build an entire new facility, which is now located on Town Line Road. Construction took about six months to complete, and construction of the new facility took off earlier this year. Although the new facility was officially completed in July, Don Mikolajcik said they have already outgrown the new facility, and is even booked with clients for next spring.
Don Mikolajcik said they also plan to hire a few more employees to their current team.
“We have 11 acres so we can expand another building on the side and out in the back,” said Don Mikolajcik, adding his business is customer-driven, as many come in with different repair and service requests.
For more information, visit ctmotorcars.com.
Comments? Email lcapobianco@Bristol Observer.com
By LISA CAPOBIANCO