My Dad and Grandfather purchased their Volvos from Jaffarian. What does it mean to you to be third generation in the automotive business?
Thanks for asking this question because I don’t forget for a single day that this business is a family legacy and so much more than just a dealership. My brothers and I knew we would follow our family into the business. We started with a fabulous foundation and we all want to improve upon the family dealership with the great reputation for personal service.
Jaffarian Service was started in 1938 by my grandfather, Fred Jaffarian, who leased a gas station on River Street in Haverhill, on the same street we’re on today. He and his wife, Alice, worked at a nearby shoe factory, leaving the gas station’s management to Cousin Charlie. Every day, Fred and Alice went straight from the shoe factory to work the gas station, eventually phasing out that grueling schedule when the station became successful. Starting as a service station, Jaffarian Service expanded to sell tires, lawnmowers, and Rambler and Hudson automobiles. This taught me that hard work truly pays off and showed me how well my grandparents worked as a team.
Their son and my Dad, Richard, worked there after school, learning on the job how to fix cars. The business grew with my Dad’s generation as he was unsatisfied with Rambler’s quality, and wanted to bring a high quality vehicle to the local market. Haverhill at that time (1958) had enough domestic-auto showrooms, so he looked further. Hours of library research led him to a solution: Volvo of Sweden. Dad’s ability to handle everything gave his father, Fred, time to help the community that had supported Jaffarian Service. Jaffarian sponsored sports and other youth activities in Haverhill and Fred volunteered frequently.
Over the years, my late brother Paul, my brother Mark and I started working in the business after school. The two prior generations taught us that hard work pays off—they were exemplary role models. They also taught us the importance of community involvement and giving back to a community that supports our business. I’m proud to say this is a part of the business that I’ve expanded with high school athletic scholarships, taking children from the Boys and Girls Club to the Red Sox, speaking to auto school classes, participating in Andover’s Community Cares program focusing on the growing problem of heroin addiction held last week and so many more local programs, with an emphasis on programs helping our local youth.
This growth and commitment to community has led us to be honored with a nomination for a Family Business Award, which will be presented later this week. They are recognizing contributions made by family-owned businesses to the Massachusetts community and economy.
I am blessed to be able to maintain and grow the business that my grandparents started over 75 years ago. My brother Mark manages our award-winning auto body shop, and my son continues his journey to learn all aspects of operations after managing each service department. He is Jaffarian’s fourth generation which is wonderful personally to have him with us continuing “The Jaffarian Way.” According to the Family Business Review, only 3% of all family businesses are operating at the fourth-generation level and beyond and we are proud to be part of that statistic.
What Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion means to me is carrying on a legacy; and paying tribute to our family members before us who worked hard and made many sacrifices and took risks to build this business. While many people ask me why I continue to come in every day and work as hard as I do, I know it is because our name is on the outside of the building and I have that same DNA as Fred and Alice as they launched a filling station down the street.