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Making It | George and Ryan Figlia of Figlia & Sons.

For every East Village business that’s opening or closing, dozens are quietly making it. Here’s one of them: Figlia & Sons.

IMG_1025Melvin FelixRyan Figlia with employee Leonard “Lee” Hills.

If he could, 23-year-old Ryan Figlia would spend the steamiest summer days cooling off atop his surfboard, rather than helping run the air-conditioning sales and service business his grandfather started nearly 50 years ago on Avenue A. But his brother is off in Florida – “he’s pursing a golf career and a girlfriend,” Ryan explained – and his father will eventually hand over the family business, now located at 746 East Ninth Street. “My plan is to retire and for him to send me a check every week,” said Ryan’s father, George, “but first this guy has to start making me some money already!” Actually, business has tripled in the last year, according to Ryan: this summer they’ll install a record 5,000 cooling units around the city. We asked the father-and-son team why they aren’t sweating the economy.


At 23, you are pretty new to this.


Ryan: I started three or four years ago and started developing a company that mainly focuses on cooling the lobbies in the buildings that we already do the residential for. The market for commercial air-conditioning is a lot bigger than residential. So far it’s doing all right. That’s what I want to focus on growing and do more. Read more…