Rucci in Staten Island: a history of delivering comfort
In 1927, Joseph Rucci founded Rucci Coal and Ice. Back then, before safe refrigerants made compact electric refrigerators possible, an icebox was the common way to keep food cold. Every day of the week, Joseph made door-to-door deliveries of block ice to his customers.
Coal was burned to heat homes in the winter in those days, so the Rucci Coal truck would make deliveries to homes and businesses. Joseph had to haul tons of coal—one burlap bag at a time—to his customers’ coal bins, which were located in the basement. It was brutally hard, backbreaking work—a far cry from the way we deliver heating oil today.
Heating oil and the second generation
When heating oil became a popular alternative to coal, in the mid-1930s, we bought our first tank truck. As soon as Joseph’s son, Andrew Rucci, was old enough, he was at work with his dad, making oil deliveries and fixing boilers and furnaces.
In 1961, not long after he returned from college and military service, Andrew was named the president of Rucci Oil Company. In this capacity, Andrew expanded the business through the years by acquiring more than 20 local oil delivery companies, enlarged the service department to accommodate installations for both residential and commercial customers, and extended the coverage area to include Manhattan and Brooklyn.
In the early years, Rucci Oil operated out of the homes of Joseph and then Andrew Rucci. In 1975, Rucci Oil Company bought and renovated the building we still occupy, at 1693 Richmond Terrace. This location was chosen because of its proximity to our customers and to nearby oil terminals. Our headquarters also had to be large enough to accommodate not just our office but storage areas for our fuel trucks. We maintain a complete repair facility on site that maintains our fleet.
Over the years, we have continually improved our office with enhancements that make us more responsive to our customers. In the late 1970s, we were one of the first residential heating oil delivery companies to use a computer system for billing, posting payments, and making delivery schedules.
1990s and the third generation
In the early 1990s, the third generation of Ruccis stepped in to carry on the family tradition. In 1996, Andrew’s son Roy Rucci was named the president of Rucci Oil, and his brother Andrew Rucci Jr. became vice-president. Andrew had just received his HVAC certification, and Rucci Oil Company began installing and servicing central air conditioning systems. They also trained all of their technicians in gas heating equipment repair, so that they could offer gas-boiler or gas-furnace service to their customers.
Today, Rucci Oil is one of the largest heating oil delivery companies in our area, with residential and commercial customers all over Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx and parts of New Jersey. At any given time in the heating season we have more than 12 oil delivery trucks on the road, and we have a fleet of 18 service and repair vehicles. In addition to heating oil, we deliver No. 4 and No. 6 commercial fuel oils to our municipal and commercial customers. We also deliver diesel fuels and Bioheat®, and we recently became a natural gas dealer as well.
Our technicians are trained to service the full range of residential and commercial heating and air conditioning equipment. In addition to boilers, furnaces and water heaters, we are experts at designing and installing central heating and air conditioning systems and accessory products, including air purification systems, humidifiers and programmable thermostats.
For nearly 100 years, Rucci has been engaged in the business of keeping our customers warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and safe and comfortable all year long. Thanks to our loyal customers, we plan to be doing so for many more years to come.
Thank you for being with us for part of this journey.