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Snap Shop: Caprara's Auto Body

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SHOP: Caprara's Auto Body  LOCATION: Troy, N.Y.  OWNER: Roberto Caprara

SIZE: 13,000 square feet  STAFF: 10  AVERAGE MONTHLY CAR COUNT: 60  ANNUAL REVENUE: $1.5 million


1. A Piece of History

Bought in 1956 , Caprara’s Auto Body was originally built on a railroad yard. Bob Caprara immigrated from Italy to the U.S. and opened the shop in 1967. In its 50th year of being open, the shop has a small set of nine close-knit employees and is family run by Bob Jr. Caprara.

2. Marketing Your Name

The original building was all white but in the mid-70’s, Caprara's added a brick outer facade and a yellow plastic sign. Since then, the sign has been a trademark in the Troy neighborhood of New York.

3. Saving on Monthly Costs

Solar panels sit on top of the four main building roofs. Caprara's has 258 solar panels. The panels have saved the company roughly 40 percent on their electricity bill since they were added five years ago.

4. Efficiently Organizing

The shop’s new Car-O-Liner tools are organized on the wall. Caprara says it is better to see the tools at a glance then waste time looking for the heavy tools all piled up on a counter or floor.

5. Caring for the Environment

In one of two storage buildings across the street from the shop’s main facility, Caprara’s stores a recycling area. Along with a liquid recycler for wasted paints, the shop takes time to separate tin from heavier metals and recycle scrap metal. They’ll bring in local recycling companies and recycle the materials about once per month.

6. Establishing an Inviting Work Area

To combat the harsh Northeast winters, Caprara’s installed three energy-efficient overhead garage doors. The doors are insulated so no wind or wind sounds can leak into the garage.

7. Laid-Back Atmosphere

Customers have the option of four padded chrome-back chairs. Caprara says customers are known to fall asleep in the chairs. While the waiting room is devoid of television entertainment, the customers have access to the staff, who are separated by a counter. Caprara says customers are never in the waiting room long enough to watch T.V. but he provides books, coloring books and magazines.  The staff will spend time joking and chatting with the customers.


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