Village of Fayetteville’s first State Farm agent celebrates 40 years in business

— “Everybody was afraid to come to Fayetteville because there was so much money out here and they were afraid to deal with doctors and lawyers,” he said. “But I said, ‘I’ll take Fayetteville, I’ll give it a shot.’”

On Feb. 1, 1974, Roppo officially opened his doors for business at his first office, located on Brooklea Drive, where he stayed for two years before moving across the street from Hullar’s, on the corner of East Genesee St. and Chapel St. And those first few years were the hardest, according to Roppo.

“I worked seven days a week for the first five to seven years,” he said. “I had to build it. I had nothing. I was basically paid strictly on commission; [State Farm] gives you a small amount, but not enough to run the business. My first year, I was audited by the government because my expenses were so much more than the money I made. It was a long, hard road.”

During this time, there were points when Roppo wasn’t sure if he was going to stay afloat, but he credits his years of hard work and dedication to the huge success he’s seen recently. It wasn’t uncommon for him to work 12-hour days, Monday through Sunday, in the beginning.

These days, Roppo is one of several agents in the area and has amassed thousands of clients, to whom he provides auto, home, renters and life insurance. Three years ago, he moved down the street to a new office at 523 East Genesee St., near the Pasquale’s plaza. And even though he’s been doing the same thing for 40 years, Roppo said he still loves what he does.

“I love everything about the business – the time I have to myself, the satisfaction of helping someone out, the flexibility of my schedule – there’s so many things that are really rewarding about this business,” he said.

For more information, call 637-5143 or email Roppo at nick.roppo.bt95@statefarm.com.

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