Morea Insurance, known for serving the Bronx in the areas of insurance, real estate and income tax preparation, celebrated its 50th year of business on Thursday, September 1.
Founder Frank R. Morea was joined by family, coworkers and Councilman James Vacca at the agency’s offices for the festivities.
Vacca, who has known Morea since the councilman was a boy, said Morea has helped many people in many ways.
“That’s what makes our neighborhood great, is that feeling of neighborliness and getting to know everyone and really being close to people during the course of many years,” said Vacca.
The councilman also presented Morea with a City Council Proclamation thanking him for his many years of service to the community.
Morea, 72, first opened his business at age 22 in 1966 at the same 2964 Middletown Road location where it now stands.
His wife, Janet, was slightly hesitant about the move at the time.
She had been working at the phone company in the late sixties and was only making $104 per week.
She said that if Frank had not sell enough insurance policy’s, they could not have survived solely on her income.
Nevertheless, she said the family was there to support the young couple.
Frank and Janet spent nights eating at their parents’ houses and received a lot of help from her mom and dad and his step mom and dad.
Morea and his son Christopher, 44, acknowledged the company faced some challenges in its 50 years of business.
Morea said things were bad when arsonists were burning down apartment buildings during the 1970s.
He added business improved once the city addressed the arson spree.
On a lesser scale, the father and son team recalled how scary the advent of the Internet age was.
“We didn’t know what to expect,” said the younger Morea. “We didn’t know if there was going to be a place for us in the future.”
“Lucky the Internet, if anything, has been the best thing that has ever happened to us,” Chris said.
The father and son said one thing that has helped them last so long is their care for their customers.
Chris said one of the key things about their business is that “when you call you get a live person.”
“The only thing we can offer more than any other person is customer service,” said Morea.
He added, “I treat people the way I want to be treated.”
Another thing that has helped Frank during his 50 year career is an encounter with a nun when he was just starting his business.
Frank, who attended St. Benedict’s School, said the nun gave him a small prayer which he now keeps near his desk.
The last portion reads, “when care is pressing you down a bit, rest if you want but never quit.”
He said with a laugh, “Thank God I don’t have to read it too often.”