UNO Documentary: Zito’s Plating and Polishing Works

Editor’s Note: We know how hard it is right now; we’re living through it with you. Some of us are asking, how can we keep doing this? That’s why this week were focusing on how being part of the New Orleans community means being part of something unlike anywhere else in the world. Yes, we’ll be highlighting small businesses and art adventures that make this city beyond special, and we’re also highlighting all of you that offer water, freezer cleaning, or a place to plug in the phone and cool off during the Ida-aftermath. Stay strong, All!  

What: Zito’s Plating and Polishing Works

Film by: UNO student and filmmaker Carlos Anaya

Note: Zito’s is a family owned small business that has been in operation since 1946. This business has been accredited with the “Better Business Bureau” for more than 30 years and excels at transforming tarnished materials and hardware. Their services include, but are not limited to polishing metals, rewiring lighting, restorations, and metal repairs. Filmmaker Carlos Anaya interviews the owners in this short documentary to learn more about their experience. 

Full Transcription: 

Our company’s about um, we do a lot of restoration, lighting fixtures, dual hardware. We are just about for anything we can polish whether we bring it inside and do it or we can come out to do it or we can do it in the back of the shop.

I would say we do a lot of things that are sentimental to people and a lot of historical and antiques, you know things that you have to bring back from the past. Especially in today’s world, you have a lot of people that are, you know, it’s the new age where you buy things and you throw it away in a couple years. You get a lot of enjoyment out of this kind of work because you can see something that might be 100 years old, 150 years old, and it’s still got life to it, where today, you buy these things and if you get five, 10 years out of it, that’s it. So, it’s good to see things that still have that past to it.

The process of polishing metal we start off, whether it be brass, copper, silver, or gold, it’s all going to depend on how bad the corrosion is on that, so what process, whether you can just go ahead and polish it, or if you have to start with another process and maybe blast it with some kind of abrasive, and then cutting the metal such as sanding it, and then polishing it.

We try to explain to the customers in the beginning, you know, if it’s worthwhile to do it we’re going to tell you to do it. We’re not just here to, you know, just keep ourselves busy, and take their money. We want them to be happy when the job is completed, you know? And without giving people quality work, at fair prices, we’re not going to be here. It’s got to be perfection. If we can’t give you the perfection, then we’re not going to go ahead and do it, because that’s what our business has been built on from my great-grandfather, to my dad, and now onto me.

We’ve been in business a long time, and we keep putting out good quality work, that’s the main thing. Quality and reputation. And fair prices. Some people won’t believe that, but it’s true.



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