Partnership with Swag Custom Rides

A Partnership Designed For A Bright Future

This year represents a significant milestone for Pete and Suzanne Rappoccio and the entire Sign Pro team. It’s the celebration of our 25 year anniversary and also a time to pay tribute to our humble beginnings. Many years ago, Pete saw an opportunity to redefine the signage industry. Thus, Sign Pro was born, right out of his bedroom in his parents’ house. From day one Pete strongly emphasized quality and service in every aspect of Sign Pro’s business. With hard work came success and a recent expansion into a new 40,000 square foot facility.
From the beginning Pete has been committed to giving back to his local Connecticut community and he recently learned of a partnership that he simply couldn’t pass up.
Pete was introduced to Pastor John Muratori by a mutual friend. John is the founder of Swag Custom Rides, the first and only non-profit car shop in America. To call this shop ordinary would be an understatement. The Swag team is made up of troubled adults who may have a history of addiction or incarceration. John has more than 20 years of experience working at one of the largest rehabilitation facilities in the country and also a personal passion for restoring vehicles.
Swag was created with a mission of restoring vehicles and transforming lives. By teaching his crew how to restore vehicles, John gives them real life skills and an opportunity to change their lives. At Swag, it’s more than just work. The team huddles once a week to talk about life and developing a work ethic where they can deal with stress and anger without turning back to their addictions.
When Pete and John learned of each other’s missions, they knew there was a unique partnership in the making. The Rappocios belief in Swag was so strong that they wanted to give back by sharing business advice, support and much more.
“Pete and Suzanne believed in us, maybe even more than we believed in ourselves. Their generous donation of a portion of the sale price of the old Sign Pro building enabled us to purchase the shop. We have relocated from our 1,500 square foot space to Sign Pro’s old stomping ground of 15,000 square feet. We strongly believe that the prior success experienced in this shop will lead to our future success here”, said Muratori.
Rappoccio mentioned that there has been so much national interest in the mission of Swag that a reality show may be in the makings! Reality show filming was recently produced and is under review with several networks. This would be a huge win for the City of New Britain and Rappoccio was delighted to be a part of it.
“This partnership goes well beyond business advice and financial support,” said Rappoccio. “John and his team continue to teach me and my team important life lessons about how to successfully balance a fast paced environment, at work and at home.”
And the future is bright for both organizations. With two innovative approaches – one in the signage industry and one in the custom car market – Sign Pro and Swag Custom Rides are excited to partner on unique graphics, vehicle wraps and even vehicle lighting effects.
The Rappoccios have also given the Swag team their first project to be completed at the new facility. Sign Pro provided a 1954 Chevrolet pick-up truck that the Swag team will restore to the Rappoccios vision of a company truck. The new Sign Pro truck is expected to debut in Spring 2016. Stay tuned for more!
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