Tracy LaCombe on behalf of Tools Plus receiving the 2008 Honorable Mention Web Site Marketing Message Award from Paulette Hotton Scarpetti, President and CEO of the BBB.
This award recognized Tools Plus as having a website that exemplifies ethical marketing by meeting standards of advertising and selling practices; educates consumers by offering detailed information about the company's products, services and/or industry; includes the company's accessibility information and includes description of the company's policies pertaining to refunds/exchanges, guarantees/warrantees and/or how consumers may obtain service and finally a website that is easy to navigate.
Welcome to Tools Plus. Since 1979 we have been providing the local community with the broadest selection of Hand Tools, Power Tools, Woodworking Machinery and Accessories from top manufacturers. Whether you're shopping for Cordless Tools from Makita, DeWalt or Milwaukee, we have the tool to fit your needs. We began business with a 600 square foot rent, and from those humble beginnings have grown into our own 9000+ square foot building, located in Waterbury, Connecticut. We began our internet store in 1999, the early days of web commerce, with the same Yahoo Store we use today. Buying things on the internet has evolved in many ways, stronger types of security, more user-friendly shopping carts, quality of product images, and methods of marketing products. Throughout these changes, we have worked hard to stay on the edge of new technologies, and provide our internet customers with the best possible shopping experience.
A while back, Home Depot moved into this area of Waterbury, right across the street from us, in fact. There was some initial worry that the direct competition with this giant would hurt our business, but after several years it is clear that that has not been the case. Although going up against a retail giant is never easy, not only have we thrived with them in our back yard, we have continued to succeed and grow at a controlled pace. One can never be sure exactly why we have done so well, but we like to think it is because we work hard to provide our customers with the lowest possible prices, friendly and extremely knowledgeable customer service, and a very diverse selection of products.
The store itself is over 9000 square feet. The first floor is where all of our power tools, hand tools, and accessories are on display, and the shelves are stocked to the ceiling to contain the variety and quantity on hand. Upstairs is a showroom of some of our most popular woodworking and shop equipment. The second and third floors also house the stock that we rapidly use when re-supplying the store downstairs and sending out our Internet orders. The shipping department, manned and busy sending out orders all throughout the day, is also on the second floor.
The front counter of the store is the base of operations for the 100 plus years of combined industry knowledge behind the Tools Plus name. From here, many questions are answered, and solutions are forged in person or by phone. When you speak to someone at the front counter, you should expect an honest, detailed response to your questions. Unlike some Internet retailers that never even see their stock, the people at the front counter can be holding a tool in their hand as they describe it to you. The plus in Tools Plus stands for the hands on knowledge that comes with every tool we stock and every sale we make.
In the summer of 2010, Tool-Plus opened up a brand new automated distribution center in the heart of scenic Prospect Connecticut. The new warehouse features a computer-based order processing system that allows us to more accurately and more efficiently fill orders, while at the same time giving us room to stock a wider variety of items in greater numbers. The added room allows us to take advantage of a wider variety of manufacturer volume deals and of course, pass the savings on to you. "60 Scott" as we lovingly refer to it, also features an expanded office area for our customer service and internet personnel, allowing us to better serve both our internet and local customers. Moving forward, we plan to keep expanding and growing to continue to meet the needs of our loyal customers. And through it all we will always strive to maintain the high level of personal customer service that we've become legendary for.
Eric Savelle is the owner of Tools Plus. He started the tool selling business in 1980 with nothing but $5,000, and a co-signed $20,000 loan. He bought a basement full of merchandise and held liquidation sales at hotels, having no permanent location until he began to rent a small 600 square foot store. From youth, he always loved anything with a motor, but all of his learned knowledge about the industry came from years of listening to his customers' stories, and benefiting from the wisdom and experience that they impart. The philosophy that he built this business with was to always treat customers like he would want to be treated in their place. At 57 years old and after 32 years in business, he has thoroughly enjoyed the process of preparing for the next, undoubtedly exciting, 32 years.
Jeanne was born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in Shrub Oak, NY. She moved to CT to be with her husband and has been with Tools Plus since 2003. Her background is in Insurance and has a degree as a Professional Liability Underwriter and Insurance Broker. Since joining Tools Plus, she has been a Systems Analyst and quickly became our General Office Manager due to her skill and dedication. She enjoys her job because of the interaction she has with phone and internet customers, and she works hard to troubleshoot problems and make sure that everyone is satisfied with their ordering experience. Jeanne is a mother of two grown children and Lucy the dog and Buba, Jack and Nelly, their three cats.
Margie is our most senior employee, with us for almost 25 years. She works from home as she raises her two daughters as a single parent. She is our purchasing agent and through the wonders of modern technology she is able to work for us full time while raising her kids full time. Margie not only buys the tools for Tools Plus, she personally uses and tests them out through her many home building projects. She loves gardening and landscaping and being involved with her daughters in Girl Scouts, soccer, and dance.
Struggling to care for a growing family, Johnny came to us from Oxford Connecticut and works as our Warehouse Operations Supervisor. Recently assigned to "light duty", Johnny has resigned himself to "eating for two" and coming up with a name for his new bundle of joy. After his upcoming maternity leave, we expect Johnny to return back to work with the same sharp wit and sense of humor that got him where he is today. Good luck Johnny!!
Brian is a seasoned veteran of Tools Plus and the lead in-house programmer. He can also be held responsible for the development of the website and devouring of the doughnuts. He attended Wheaton College and is a marathon runner enthusiast. Brian is truly the heart and soul of the technical Juggernaut that is Tools-Plus. Favorite Expression: "Kirk, wake up...break is over."
Kirk is the 2nd of our resident pair of website gurus. In addition to maintaining the harmony between the digital customers and Tools Plus, he is also responsible for many of descriptions and product write-ups on the site. He is a music connoisseur who can operate the fork lift like a true champion, and he is never one to shy away from happy hours. When not hard at work, Kirk enjoys spending time with his wife and 2 kids while avoiding yard work and excessive outdoor activities.
Lucy is the Tools-Plus "Jill of all Trades". One moment you'll find her crunching computer code and the next she'll be on the loading dock motivating the shipping department. More than just a watch dog, Lucy possesses those prized canine skills that have catapulted her to the top of the food chain. Her "take no prisoners" attitude is a perfect compliment to her "scratch my belly" softer side.
Rickie has been with Tools Plus for over 8 years. Just an all around great guy, who shares his life with his lovely wife Cheryl and his daughter Kelly. You can find Rickie working tirelessly in our Shipping Department making sure all of our customer shipments are packed and shipped on time, usually with his side kick, Lucy, by his side. She always knows where she can get a kiss, scratch on her belly and let us not forget the doggie treats he has tucked away.
Brian is a newer member of the Tools Plus Team. As our Accounts Receivable Manager his duties and responsibilities transcend many facets of our organization and he has certainly become "Brian on the Spot". Brian along with his wife Amy-Lyn and their 3 cats, live the New England Dream. In Brian's free time he loves to duck pin bowl and work out in the yard.
Debbie comes to Tools-Plus with many years of customer service experience under her belt. The friendly voice on the other end of the phone, Debbie always goes the extra mile to keep the customer happy even at the expense of her own personal needs. Originally hailing from Stamford Connecticut, Debbie currently resides in Naugatuck with her husband and 3 sons. She has one son currently serving in the CT National Guard who recently return from a tour in Afghanistan, so please join us here at Tools-Plus in extending our sincere thanks for his service!
Kristine is our little walking ray of sunshine. Always smiling and laughing, she brings an unmistakable lightness of being to the sometimes dreary office atmosphere, and she loves to share that same sunshine with our deserving customers. If there's a problem with your order or you need to place an order, Kristine is the one to go to, she's sure to take your frown and turn it upside down. She refuses to have her picture taken, (even after much begging and pleading), so we decided to represent her awesome sunshiney-ness with this smiley face.
This is Joe, and Joe's a fun guy. Joe is a marketing and graphics guru and is responsible for much of the visual stimulation our users experience on the web site. Besides working, Joe also enjoys playing in his band "Polka Explosion", check them out on Facebook. He's an accordion virtuoso and has high aspirations of playing Oktoberfest in Munich someday. Joe doesn't like having his picture taken, so we had to sneak this shot in over the cubicle.
Meet our "Go To" warehouse guy, Joe. If you placed an order with us, chances are Joe touched it at some point. Born and raised in Naugatuck Connecticut, Joe brings a vast skillset to the Tools-Plus table; including playing soccer, coaching soccer, watching soccer, and trying to convince himself that soccer is a real sport. Joe is currently pursuing a Liberal Arts degree at NVCC. When not going the extra mile in our warehouse, Joe enjoys eating at Subway and "liking" comments on Facebook.
Originally hailing from New Britain Connecticut, Scott brings years of receiving and warehousing experience to Tools-Plus. Scott graduated from Central Connecticut State University in 2010 with a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting and enjoys playing and watching sports. He swears that the Celtics are still a legitimate basketball team and is super proud of the life-sized Larry Bird poster hanging on the ceiling above his bed. He loves working at Tools-Plus, especially the part where he gets to watch (and hear) Johnny eat lunch every day.
Although she originally hails from the "Motor City", Kathleen has lived in Connecticut for the past 40 years and currently calls the town of Beacon Falls home. She spent most of her professional career working in Accounts Receivable with large corporations and enjoys the family atmosphere of working at Tools-Plus, along with the less than stringent dress code (see image of Johnny above). When not hard at work keeping the books in balance, Kathleen enjoys spending time with her family, working in the yard, and rooting for the Yankees as they buy themselves another championship. Welcome to the Family Kathleen!