NORTH FORK — In recent months some of you may have noticed a new face behind the old counter at the local Napa Auto Parts store in North Fork. For those who have, you’ll know the man behind the counter to be Patrick Tachella, and for those who don’t, feel welcome to stop by and say hi. Patrick is an affable man who welcomes good conversation, and it’s never a bad idea to get to know the person who just might be helping you fix your car someday.
Patrick has been the owner/operator of the North Fork Napa Auto Parts since purchasing the longstanding business in early May of this year. Pat has lived in California’s Central Valley his whole life, growing up in Lodi, CA before moving to Fresno in 2011 to pursue a degree in viticulture at Fresno State. Putting himself through school, he worked part-time as a mechanic until graduating in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in viticulture; spending much of his time while enrolled at the University as the Viticulture Club President and Viticulture and Enology Alumni Association President.
After graduating, Pat became a full-time viticulturist for a local wine grape producer, eventually being made the Director of Viticulture at the company; personally managing over 5,000 acres of land.
Pat’s true connection to the local community, and the means by which he found himself in North Fork owning and operating a local auto parts store, came from a chance meeting with the woman who would one day become the love of his life, Darylyn Dierberger. Pat says they met while he was still enrolled at Fresno State and visiting Coarsegold with his long-time best friend and friend’s girlfriend, local resident Trisha O’neil. Pat says they went to a small reunion party, and it was there that he met Darylyn. According to Pat, they had an instant connection, and he knew immediately he wanted to be a part of her life. Several years later, he and Darylynn were happily married, and looking for a place where they hoped to be able to settle down and focus on starting a family. At the time Pat was still working as the viticulture director for a local vineyard, requiring him to travel frequently throughout the state, and the constant travel was becoming burdensome on his new family. So, he started looking seriously for a new career that would place less demand for travel on his time and was lucky enough to find just that when a local opportunity came open allowing him to leave his position at the local grape distributor and begin working as the greenhouse manager for Tillandsia International, located in Coarsegold.
For those who don’t know, Tillandsia is one of the world’s largest producers and distributors of air plants. After hiring on, Pat spent several years at Tillandsia enjoying better hours and less travel. He still consults for the business today.
Pat has worn several hats in the past few years, from a 9:00-5:00 car mechanic, to expert wine grape grower turned air plant farmer, before finally deciding to return to his passion and first line of employment; working on cars and teaching people to understand more about the work they would normally otherwise only have the opportunity to pay someone else to do for them.
Pat says, “I am looking at this as an investment for my family, but more importantly as an investment for the community. I want to be able to service the vehicles that are actually on the road, and not have a shop full of old and outdated parts. Asking questions about what customers actually want to have on the shelf is something I do daily. I’m coming back to my true passion, working on vehicles and helping people with fixing their vehicles if something is wrong.”
Interestingly enough, this sentiment quickly became more than just words when, mid-interview, long-time local resident Haunsel Kern’s truck broke down quite literally across the street from the Napa Auto Parts store. Haunsel entered the store, asking for a few parts and a battery tester. What he didn’t realize was he was about to receive much more than he had bargained for when Pat and his good friend Shawn Antill came to Haunsel’s aid, walking across the street, examining the truck, and immediately setting to work about fixing the problem. And this was the way the interview ended, Pat, Shawn, and Haunsel still tinkering with the broken down truck, confident it would be operating in good working order within no time at all.
Pat wakes up every morning, happy to go to work and do something he loves. Being able to provide for his family while also serving the community he has chosen to settle in is a lifelong dream for Pat. Genuine in his demeanor and happy to assist those in need, the mountains are lucky to have gained such a faithful and capable member to our local community.