Tuesday, 04 December 2018 23:46

Young Greek American Builds Body Shop Empire in Upper Darby, PA

Written by David Bjorkgren, Special to Hellenic News of America and hellenicnews.com



“A lot of people respected him, so we started to get business, not out of pity but out of respect for my father. The Greek community helped kick-start the business,” he said.


They outgrew the Church Lane location, which fit only four cars at a time. They moved to Darby for two years, outgrew that location and settled at their 350-vehicle site on West Chester Pike, where they’ve been for about three years.


Pete grew up in Upper Darby with his mom, dad and sister. His parents married in 1983, both from the small island of Kalymnos in Greece.


There wasn’t much work available on the 10,000-resident island, so they came to the United States looking for better opportunities.


Pete went to St. Alice School, a now-closed private school, then switched to Beverly Hills Middle School in 8th grade before heading to the Haverford School, a private boys’ high school. A love and talent for basketball followed him through school, and he ended up playing point guard for St. Joseph’s University.


“My goal was always to be the best player in the world, make it to the NBA, make millions,” he said. “I gave it all I had.”


Recruiters recognized his talent. He got an offer from Columbia University in New York and other small Division I schools that wanted his talents.


“I’m a family guy, so I didn’t want to go far away. I wanted to be close to my mom, my sister and my dad, so I chose St. Joe’s,” he said.


He was on their team for three years but didn’t get to play that much. He started getting calls to play professionally for teams in Italy, Germany and Greece.


In 2008, he was picked up to play point guard for the Iraklis in Greece.


“I’d never been far from home, so it was a little tough,” he said. “There were a few things I didn’t want to leave behind, but I had to do it. It’s something my father and I dreamed of, so it was a goal we did together, regardless of the outcome. Thank God I did it because I would have had a lot of regrets.”

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