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Finding Perfection



Settled into a friendly neighborhood on Banks Street, Zito’s Plating and Polishing Works is in the business of transformation. 

For 75 years, Zito’s has been transforming tarnished and damaged family heirlooms into gleaming family treasures. They also restore and repair lighting and plate a variety of items to please.

Henry McCloskey, Zito’s owner is the second generation of this small family business started by his grandfather, Charles Zito. Henry now works with a staff of six, which includes his son Corey.

“We just finished up one of our biggest jobs ever,” says Corey. “We rebuilt 30 light fixtures at Gallier Hall.”

“It was a total rebuild from screws to sockets, the whole nine yards,” adds Henry quickly. “We’re full service and we take pride in our work.”

Zito’s doesn’t take any short cuts. Whether it’s antique or modern, indoor or outdoor, commercial or residential the team always pays attention to the details.

“The quick and easy way isn’t how we conduct our services,” says Corey.

Zito's specialty plating includes antique and modern finishes and all plating is done in their shop.  They’ll even prepare your old rusted cast iron skillet for the perfect curing. Additionally, they’re known for their lighting repairs from the lamp on your bed stand to the chandelier in the hall.

“Our business has changed through the generations, we are doing much more lighting now,” says Corey. “I think it’s because people today buy cheaper things that aren’t worth restoring. You just buy it and throw it away and buy another. And silver is on the decline. I mean when have you gone somewhere for dinner and they break out the silver service set.”

At the age of 14, Henry began helping out his grandfather and 12 years ago Corey began learning the trade from his father.

“I have very big shoes to fill and I guess I’m filling my grandfather’s shoes too. I enjoy every single day and I’m very proud to work here,” Corey says.

A stout lab named Daddy came to visit Zito’s one day and then decided to stay. He’s now the store’s official greeting committee. During the time I was in the store one morning, a neighbor silently came in and attached a leash to the dog. Then the pair headed out the door.

“That’s a friend,” says Corey. “Around here everyone comes and goes. We’re like the neighborhood coffee shop.”

The atmosphere is clearly relaxed, laid back and full of joy but one thing is abundantly clear, this family takes their family business very seriously.

“When we do a restoration we do all of it from new screws to new nuts,” Corey says.  “We not interested in getting it done quickly we want to give perfection.”

 

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Labors of Love

Small Business Snapshots By Pamela Marquis

About

After more than 40 years, Pamela Marquis thinks she can claim New Orleans citizenship. A frequent contributor to Biz New Orleans and New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles, Marquis has decades of experience as a freelance writer specializing in business writing. Marquis spent many years working in the non-profit world and holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Missouri.

Living in and loving the 7th ward, she spends her spare time walking her foster dog, playing with her brilliant granddaughters and dashing grandson and gardening. 

 

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