craftsmanship dates back to 1912 when Ippolito Modica from Pozzallo,
Sicily started his masonry career as an apprentice, learning from
the masters in the trade. Ippolito Modica had 4 sons all of whom
followed in the same footsteps as their father. Virgilio Modica Sr.
was only 11 years old when he had to quit school and work full time
to help support the large family of 7 children.
Because work was
slim in the small Sicilian fishing village where they lived,
Virgilio Sr. looked for work elsewhere and worked up in northern
Italy near Milan. Then an opportunity came up for Virgilio and his
brother Mike to move to America in 1967. Despite the fact that
neither of them spoke any English when they immigrated, their
superior masonry skills quickly led them to obtain jobs to build
high rises in New York City.
As their English
improved, Virgilio, Mike, and another brother Rosario decided to
open up a construction business together in 1972 called Modica Bros.
Inc. in Clifton, NJ. The business was going well, but Mike and
Rosario missed their native country and returned back to Italy in
1975. Therefore, Virgilio Sr. changed the name of the business to
Modica and Son, Inc. adding his 5 year old son Virgilio Jr. to the
In the summer of
1981, when Virgilio was 11 years old, he started working as a
masonry helper and continued working every summer till he was 17
years old. Once Virgilio finished school, he was employed full time
with his father and learned everything in masonry construction
including foundations, concrete work, block work, brickwork, tile
work, and stone. In addition, Virgilio Jr. expanded his construction
knowledge by learning to do framing, decks, plumbing, screen porches
and general remodeling.
In 2005, Virgilio
Sr. retired from the construction business at the age of 62 and
returned back to his hometown in Sicily. In the meantime, Virgilio
Jr. was also ready to make a change for himself and moved to
Woodstock, GA to be closer to his sister. In the summer of 2006,
Virgilio Jr. opened up his own business yet wanted to keep the
business name as close as possible to his fatherís business. But
because he wanted to do more than just masonry construction, he
decided to name it Modica & Son Handymen so that customers can hire
him for a variety of services big or small.
And so with 2
generations of Italian craftsmanship behind him, Virgilio has
learned that there is a difference with the quality of the work he
has learned from his father compared to others in the industry.
Although modern technology and materials plays an important part of
how different things are built today, much of the fundamental
craftsmanship is still used and applied today in his business.