Herald Journal, Sept. 12, 2005
Long-time employee Tom Schermann takes over ownership of Winsted NAPA store
By Ryan Gueningsman
A majority of Winsted and surrounding area residents probably think Tom Schermann has owned and operated NAPA (National Automotive Parts Association) in Winsted for many years.
That’s not quite the case. Schermann and his wife, Connie, took over ownership of the store from Ray Skolberg of Brownton Sept. 1.
Schermann and Skolberg have a history of working together, as Schermann worked for Skolberg at the Glencoe NAPA for a short while upon his graduation from Holy Trinity High School.
Skolberg opened the store in Winsted, where Jimmy’s Pizza currently stands on First Street North, with Schermann heading the operation.
Not long after, Skolberg relocated the business across the street in the old grocery store building that stood where Community Bank Winsted’s drive-through sits today. From there, a new building was built about 16 years ago on Second Street South where NAPA is today.
Over the years, as the auto industry has changed, Schermann has kept up with the advances.
The store has been computerized for about 16 years, and Schermann said essentially nothing will change with the new ownership. The hours of operation, employees, phone, and address will all remain the same.
The one difference, Schermann pointed out, was not in his business, but rather in the town itself over the past 20 years.
He said the next thing to watch will be the increase in fuel prices, and said changes will probably be made to get better gas mileage on vehicles. His store carries about 95 percent NAPA products, he added.
“There are a lot of new people . . . new faces in town,” he said. “We’ve been here so long, we tend to take things for granted.”
Down the road, Schermann could see having a grand opening/open house, but said no plans are in place at this time.
Connie will also be helping out at the store during time off from her full-time job at HEI in Victoria, and the Schermanns’ three children, Chris Cardinal, Sarah Bogema, and Amanda Schermann, will also be occasionally helping out at the store.