Bongiovanni moves, but not too far away
MERIDEN — When it came time for finding a larger home, Terry and Eileen Bongiovanni didn’t have to look much further than the stately Victorian-style office across the street.
Bongiovanni Insurance and Financial Services recently bought the former office of prominent attorney Thomas Cadden and moved from the rear suite of 97 E. Main St.
Cadden died suddenly nearly a year ago.
“We wanted to stay downtown and we had been talking for a while about expanding,” said Ty Bongiovanni, now a second-generation employee. “Going across the street made the most sense for our clients.” Some flooding at their old home sped up their plans and the Cadden family allowed the Bongiovannis to move in several months before the closing.
The couple has kept the first floor the same, even using some of the same furnishings, including a conference table. They changed the electrical system, added a separate entryway, installed a new hot water heater, landscaped and renovated the office suite upstairs.
Terry Bongiovanni said the first priority is to lease the four upstairs offices, with a conference room, kitchen and full bath. Tenants could be a single user or several users sharing central space. The family resurfaced the hardwood floors, painted and installed a full bathroom and fitness area.
Terry Bongiovanni founded the company 25 years ago at 95 E.Main St. in a building owned by attorney E. Jack Shorr. The business was basically life insurance and financial planning. It migrated to health insurance, Medicare, pension planning and employee benefits.
“We pretty much do it all except property and casualty,” Terry Bongiovanni said.
Eileen Bongiovanni was a gymnastics coach until 13 years ago, when it came time to slow down. Her husband’s business was expanding and she joined the company as its operations manager. The couple’s oldest son Ty joined the firm after college in 2006 and their youngest son Trey in 2008.
The younger members brought new energy, technology, talents and areas of expertise, Eileen Bongiovanni said.
Each family member has their own role and the expansive first floor gives each member their own office and space.
The family is also committed to the city and its community through its involvement with the Greater Meriden Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis and Rotary clubs.
“We’ve been very busy and try to stay involved in the community,” Terry Bongiovanni said.
As a member of the Greater Meriden Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Ty Bongiovanni sees the benefits of investing in the city’s downtown area.
State and federal commitments to city improvements and the planned commuter railroad between New Haven and Springfield, Mass., they said, are certain to bring more interest in development downtown.
“I don’t think enough people realize it,” Ty Bongiovanni said. “A lot of people don’t believe it’s actually going to happen.”
Bongiovanni Insurance and Financial Services will host a ribbon-cutting and open house to introduce its new home and available office space from 5 to 7 p.m. on July 7.
By Mary Ellen Godin, Record-Journal staff