Joe Ferrer, owner of BS & F Auto Parts on Bronx River Avenue, sits in the back area of his shop with a phone up to each ear, simultaneously buying, selling, haggling, giving orders and doing pretty much everything it takes to keep his auto parts business thriving.
But Ferrer also has a knack for marketing. He puts a lot of time, money and effort into television and radio advertisements, which he writes and stars in himself.
So when he was working with Frank Mosca, a City Island-based producer on a television commercial, the two came up with the idea of making BS & F the setting for a reality show. And now, Ferrer is on the verge of becoming a star ,not just in the automotive world, but in reality T.V.
“Hard Parts: South Bronx” starring Joe Ferrer and his staff at BS & F begins taping in December and will air in spring 2012 on the SPEED cable network. It will chronicle the day-to-day operations of the shop, which is just south of Westchester Avenue. Tension will come from Ferrer’s quest to find the most obscure, difficult-to-obtain auto parts for his customers.
The footage the pair used to pitch the program showed Ferrer trekking to a junk yard to obtain a special car part.
“I have a different style of doing things,” Ferrer said. “In the show we try to find the impossible part to get, and people are going to see how it is to run a business in the south Bronx.”
Ferrer wants the show to both promote BS & F, and open doors for him in show business.
“I’m hoping it could lead to other things, maybe being a T.V. host. It’s something I’m interested in,” he said.
Ferrer was born and raised in Pelham Gardens. He learned the automotive business from his late father, who ran a shop in Manhattan for 40 years. They opened BS & F together in 1980.
And despite the fact he already appears, to the outsider, as busy as humanly possible at work, Ferrer said having a camera crew in the already cramped store will not be a problem.
“I’ll handle it,” he said. “I multi task well.”
BS & F stock warehouse manager Hector Andujar said the thought of being a regular on reality television was exciting.
“I think it’s great,” Andujar said. “I can’t believe it, I’m shocked.”
As for what viewers can expect, he said there will be a lot of tense moments.
“It’s a lot of work. It’s a high-strung business,” Andujar said.
Ferrer and Mosca shopped the show to different networks for over a year before SPEED bit.
Mosca said Ferrer’s personality will be what drives the program.
“He doesn’t put down the phone, he’s a 100 miles per hour.”
Mosca also said that “Hard Parts” will be a chance to put the Bronx on display to the rest of the country. SPEED is more popular in areas where Nascar takes precedence over the Yankees – Red Sox rivalry.
“You’re talking about people who don’t know the Bronx. We’re stepping out of our element,” Mosca said. “But I think anybody who can appreciate someone who puts in hard work.”
Bill Weisbrod can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 742-3394.