Bill and Rod’s device in Livonia passed to 3rd generation owner

It’s time for one of Livonia’s oldest companies to pass the baton to the next generation.

Bill and Rod’s Appliance will see a third generation family member in charge. Joe Legato, son of Kim and Linda Legato, will take over the longtime home appliance store later this week after his parents decided to retire.

For years Joe Legato said he wanted his parents to enjoy retirement and he ran the store. He started to investigate it in depth in 2021.

“It was a years-long process,” Joe Legato said. “About five years ago my dad kind of put a date on it. And I brought in the pressure last year.”

Now Joe Legato – who had worked in the store since graduating from college in 2008 – hopes to continue the long legacy started by his grandfather when the business started as an appliance repair shop in Garden City there. decades old. He moved to Livonia in 1965 and found his current home at 15870 Middlebelt in 2013. The store specializes in the sale and repair of household appliances, including refrigerators, washers, dryers and grills.

Joe Legato takes over Bill and Rod's Appliance in Livonia.

The family held a small get-together at the store on May 19 to celebrate the transition, with employees and members of the local community stopping by to give Kim and Linda Legato their best.

One such person was Livonia Mayor Maureen Miller Brosnan, who said passing the business between family members was a perfect fit with the town’s motto: “Families First”.

“Bill and Rod’s story is a big Livonia story,” she said. “It really is the heart of where we reside as a community.”

New owners, same quality for customers

After decades with the store, Linda Legato said she was happy to keep it in the family and to keep it in the hands of someone who is invested in the brand.

“I trust him for my office,” Linda Legato said. “We appreciate being able to pass it on to capable hands, someone with vision, who wants to see it succeed. Want it to grow, want it to go to the next generation.”

Joe Legato said he doesn’t plan to make many changes as the new owner, saying he wants to keep what has kept his reputation alive. But some adjustments will most likely come.

“We’re going to continue our legacy of excellence and we’re going to make sure we’re customer-centric,” he said, adding that some changes will be coming. “We know appliances are getting very expensive. We know this is a key investment in your home. What we’re looking to do is have a maintenance plan that we roll out for your devices.”

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Bill and Rod would sell the maintenance plans in-house with the work done by Bill and Rod’s employees. It’s something Joe Legato said he hopes to launch in the coming months.

As for his parents, they plan to spend time working with local garden clubs, spending time with family, playing golf and service projects, he said.

They will have to find something to do before returning to the store to help in any capacity: the transfer contract stipulates that they must take six months off before returning to the store.

A round of applause erupts at the small event celebrating the retirement of Linda and Kim Legato from Bill and Rod's Appliance.

The son hopes his parents will enjoy their retirement and not feel the need to return to work.

“I don’t know if they’ll want to come back after that,” Joe Legato said. “That they like what they do.”

Contact reporter David Veselenak at dveselenak@hometownlife.com or 734-678-6728. Follow him on Twitter @davidveselenak.

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