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March 5, 2019

Coastal Auto Parts to receive Ellsworth chamber’s top award

Coastal Auto Parts, a family-run group of NAPA-branded locations that has grown to 25 locations across Maine with over 270 employees, is the 2019 recipient of the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce's Top Drawer Award.

The chamber's award was created to honor annually an outstanding individual, company or organization that has made a substantial contribution to the growth and development and improvement to the city, county and/or state, according to a March 4 news release.

In December 1981, Fay Boles and his stepfather, Buster Harding, purchased Coastal Auto Parts, a NAPA store on High Street in Ellsworth.

Coastal added a second location in Milbridge in 1986 and moved its Ellsworth location to larger facility in 1990. A third location opened in Southwest Harbor in 1994, then a fourth location in Blue Hill in 1999.

After experiencing growth over the next decade, the Ellsworth store relocated in 2010 to a 15,000-square-foot building on Route 1, marking the beginning of explosive growth for the company. The company added a location in Topsham, followed by two more in 2013, two in 2015, three in 2016, seven in 2017, four in 2018, and already one so far in 2019, with another planned for April 2019. The April acquisition will bring the total number of NAPA stores operated by Coastal to 25.

Today, Coastal has stores across the state ranging from Machias and Caribou to Auburn. Its stores dot Interstate 95 and along coastal Route 1.

Boles and his wife Patricia Morrison Boles are Ellsworth High School graduates, as are their four children, who are involved in the business.

Coastal has been involved in youth sports in the Ellsworth, especially as sponsor for the Ellsworth Football League, which Boles was instrumental in starting and currently serves as president. Coastal has also been involved in the Autumn Gold Car Show for many years, and has been a title sponsor the past several years.

The company is in the process of transitioning from Boles to the next generation and future plans include continued store growth, according to the news release.

The chamber's annual awards night will take place May 16 at a location to be announced. The award is a custom-designed chest, crafted locally, that denotes "Top Drawer, the best, first class and above all others." The award has been given annually since 1980, to companies and individuals in the chamber's region.

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