Blue Crab Appliance Parts (AP) opened its doors to the Newport News community in July of 2010 and has been helping customers with their appliance parts needs ever since. “We sell parts to contractors and homeowners. We enable a person the power and access to parts to fix their own appliances and HVAC systems,” says general manager Crystal Rosales. “We also have an extremely knowledgeable staff to help trouble-shoot ideas. I consider us quite a MacGyver team.”
Rosales has been with the business for more than seven years, and she takes a lot of pride in her team and their work, especially their unique qualities as a business. “Currently we are a completely female business other than the owner. I have two wonderful counter women, Lyrik Ferrer and Christy Barnes, plus Maggie Chan, our accountant, who does all the behind-the-scenes work. We are a very family-oriented team,” Rosales says.
When asked what sets Blue Crab AP apart from others in the business, Rosales says, “Firstly, we offer a friendly environment for our customers. We are very dedicated to our customers, helping them achieve their goals. Our customer service can’t be touched. We stay after hours for folks; we have gone to people’s homes — whatever it takes to build relationships with our community. It is all word of mouth that keeps us a part of this community.”
Rosales and the team at Blue Crab AP enjoy how every day can look different, making it necessary to stay alert, informed and prepared to deal with problems. “You never know what challenges will come through the door,” she says. “People come to us with all sorts of broken equipment, from your typical appliances to kids’ sciences projects. It’s really a lot of fun for us and we hope to share that same excitement and enthusiasm with the person we are helping.”
Rosales continues, “A lot of homeowners don’t know where to get appliance parts, so we get a ton of referrals from other local businesses which we are super grateful to receive.”
Another aspect to customer service which Rosales and her team enjoy is the creative side, which may not be the first thing people think of when customer service is mentioned but is critical for the Blue Crab AP team. “I love learning and being creative. Our customers give us those opportunities every day. Some issues can be very challenging, but we are ready. It’s a lot of fun for all involved. When I can’t help a customer, I will find a way to give them advice towards other options. I don’t want them to leave empty handed,” Rosales says.
Another unique aspect to the work culture at Blue Crab AP is its dedication to veterans and military families, as it has a personal connection to the armed forces. Owner David Gillespie was in the Coast Guard and retired in 1996 before serving again in 2003 after the 911 attacks, following a personal obligation to serve the country.
Helping others has become a part of Blue Crab AP’s passion. “We often help homeowners whose spouse may be deployed, and they can’t figure out how to fix an appliance. And there are elderly people who can’t manage as well, so we deliver merchandise to their homes. We also take part in food drives during the holidays and give extra discounts for participation,” Rosales says. “Stores like ours are far and few; companies have gotten away from customer service and helping people. I like maintaining a relationship with customers.”
When asked about her free time, Rosales clearly indicated she loves giving back to the community even when she is not working. “I enjoy being outdoors and spending time with my family,” she says. “I am a big animal person, so spending time with my pets is important to me. And in September, I am going to be having my first grandbaby,” Rosales says with a big smile.
“I spend a ton of time helping my community’s children. I teach them life skills and I make sure they eat and have a place to stay. Whether it be guidance or helping them get into different educational programs, I believe we have not done this younger generation justice.”
Blue Crab Appliance Parts is determined to help the community not only find the best products and service it needs, but also establish relationships with customers while giving back to the community.