Anyone who lived in the Prattville section of Chelsea knew Frank Ippolito Jr.
He was the familiar face and kind gentleman at Ippy’s Amoco Gas Station at the corner of Washington and Garfield Avenues who owned that popular service station and car repair business in addition to Ippy’s Plowing that he started in 1973.
“My grandfather, Frank Sr. started it, and my dad, Frank Jr., continued it for 50 years,” said Frank Ippolito III.
The Ippolito name still resonates with pride in the city. Frank III’s uncle, Joseph Ippolito, has guided the beautiful renovation project at the Sagamore Club that is enjoying a resurgence of new members. Uncle Jimmy Ippolito was known for his athletic talents and Jimmy and Jane’s daughter, Jamie, became the greatest softball player in Savio Prep history before continuing her brilliant career at Stonehill College.
Frank Ippolito Jr. passed away in 2012 and his son, Frank III, assumed command of the plowing business, changing its name to Ippolito Snow Services LLC. The business is located on Chelsea Street in East Boston, making for easy access to its Boston clients.
The level of excellence that the father brought to his business has continued under the son’s capable leadership – and then some.
In 2015 after the snowiest winter (108 inches) in Boston history, Ippolito Snow Services received the National Snow and Ice Management Award. Ippolito’s company was recently featured on the cover of Snow Business magazine.
Ippolito oversees a staff of approximately 50 employees. He seeks out part-time employees from businesses such as auto repair shops and car washes, and the commercial fishing industry, many of whom who don’t usually work in their regular jobs during snowstorms.
“We’re a snow only business – we don’t do anything else,” said Ippolito. “In the offseason, we attend national training conferences and start negotiating snow-plowing contracts in the summer. We really want to focus on what we do well.”
Whether it’s an inch of snow or a major snowstorm hitting the Boston area, Ippolito has to be ready to send out an army of snow removal vehicles. “We have plow trucks, obviously, but we have loaders, Wildcats, and Bobcats. We do a lot of sidewalks in Boston so we recently invested in a lot of sidewalk-clearing equipment.”
Ippolito has become one of the region’s foremost experts on snow removal and often fields inquiries from business owners such as: How can a company project its snowplowing services from year to year and what if there is a winter with very little snow (Boston averages 42 inches per season, according to Ippolito).
“There are two models,” said Ippolito. “One is that a company pays a certain amount and no matter how much snow we get, that is the amount for a three-year period. Other companies pay by the storm and by the inch.”
The unforgettable winter of 2015 was a major test for Ippolito and his staff. “There were 78 inches of snow in February,” recalled Ippolito. “It was overwhelming. We brought in a lot of people from out of state to help out. It was non-stop snow removal for weeks. That’s when we knew as a company that there could be a real business here. That winter really put us on the map. But we don’t want to be the biggest, we just want to be the best.”
Ippolito said his company uses Eastern Minerals on Marginal Street for its salt for snow removal. “We’re fortunate to have a great business like that just three minutes away,” said Ippolito.
Ippolito utilizes the latest technology to mnitor his company’s work during snowstorms. “We put GPS tracking in all the trucks,” he said. “We’re able to move resources around quickly if a snowstorm shifts.”
Though he now lives in Revere, Frank III still relishes his ties to Chelsea. “I am proud of our family’s connection to Chelsea. I’m proud of the way my grandfather and father worked hard and the great business they ran in Chelsea. This city will always have a special place in my heart..”
Though he lives in Revere, Frank Ippolito III still relishes his family’s connection to Chelsea. “I am proud of our ties to Chelsea and I am proud of my father and my grandfather and the great business they ran in Chelsea. This city will also have a special place in my heart.”
And vice versa, the city of Chelsea will always have a fondness for Ippy’s Amoco and the entire Ippolito family.