Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Small Business of the Year

Gil’s Appliances: A Family Tradition of Trust and Integrity

Sisters, Lisa Sienkiewicz and Gail Parella quite literally grew up in the business started by their parents, Gil and Sarah Almeida, in 1961. The Almeida family lived in an apartment upstairs from their original store on Wood Street in Bristol. Gil’s began as an old-fashioned, family-run record store before shifting focus from music to televisions and appliances. In 1976, Gil and Sarah moved the business to its current, larger location on Metacom Avenue, and in 1995, Lisa and Gail took over the business from their parents and began focusing solely on appliances. Since that time the sisters have been dedicated to continuing the tradition of trust, integrity, value, and exceptional customer service that their parents
began over 55 years ago.


In 2016, Gil’s opened a second retail showroom on Aquidneck Avenue in Middletown, RI, to
better serve the Aquidneck Island and South County communities. In 2017, the sisters completed a renovation and expansion of their Bristol location, nearly doubling their showroom space while adding working kitchens for cooking demonstrations and special events highlighting local chefs and artisans.

The sisters continue to move the business forward in ways that allow them to thrive in an ever-changing economy and meet the needs of new generations of customers. Gil’s customers enjoy the personalized service of a family business without paying more for the benefit. This is possible thanks to their partnership with a large east coast appliance buying group which gives Gil’s more purchasing power and an even greater selection than big-box stores.

Lisa and Gail have also ensured Gil’s web presence flourishes by completing a website redesign and expanding their overall online and social media presence. By continuing to invest in digital marketing content and advertising campaigns on multiple platforms, Gil’s has seen a rise in brand awareness and support. As a result of their efforts, Gil’s experienced impressive sales growth in 2017 and was able to add new employees to their staff.

In addition to focusing on the economic success of their business, Lisa and Gail strive to be the same reassuring and supportive presence in their community that their parents were by supporting local groups through sponsorships, donations, and volunteerism. Gil’s sponsors several local Little League baseball teams, community festivals, and food and toy drives. They are proud to sponsor such community events as the iconic Bristol Fourth of July Concert Series, as well as the Last Night Concert in Bristol featuring the RI Philharmonic over Labor Day weekend. The highest honor in Bristol was recently bestowed on Lisa and Gail when they were named Chief Marshals of the 2017 232nd Bristol Fourth of July Celebration for their ongoing commitment to family and community values and local commerce. The highlight of their philanthropic work is their partnership with RI Child & Family, in which Gil’s hosts an annual Holiday Toy Drive to benefit Child & Family’s Adopt-a- Family program.

For their demonstrated longevity, success, and community outreach, the U.S. Small Business Administration is pleased to honor Lisa Sienkiewicz and Gail Parella, Owners of Gil’s Appliances, as the 2018 Rhode Island Jeffrey Butland Family-Owned Small Business of the Year.

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