He always wore a smile and made customers feel like family.
Augostino "Augie" Feola, remembered as one of the kindest and most welcoming employees at Juicy Platters in Fair Lawn, died on Sunday, Sept. 2. He was 70 years old.
Visitation is scheduled for Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Pizzi Funeral Home in Northvale. A funeral will be held in Italy.
Feola's boss and Juicy Platters owner Jeff Wahdat said he'll never forget the day he first met him. He was looking through applications from hopeful employees and was holding Feola's in his hand when he walked in.
"Standing in front of me was a human being full of charisma," Wahdat said. "I knew immediately that he belongs on our team. For the sake of procedure, I interviewed him, asked him a few brief questions and he further solidified his talents. I broke protocol and hired him right on the spot, I was instantly drawn to his character."
Over the course of the next six years, Feola went on to become a beloved and cherished member of the Juicy Platters team.
"One by one our team and our guests fell in love with him," Wahdat said. "He has left an empty void in our hearts. Juicy might never come across such a rare gem. He will serve as the ideal for all those who come after him."
The restaurant broke the news on social media where the post garnered dozens of comments from customers and coworkers, all deeply saddened by the passing of a friend.
Feoloa's former colleague Sofia Jan said she could always count on him to brighten her day.
"His energy was infectious," she wrote. "Working at a restaurant as demanding as Juicy isn't easy on anyone, but even at his age and having worked hard his whole life, I never heard him complain.
"His loss is truly being felt by the Juicy family. May he RIP. His memory will continue to make me smile and his energy will always be felt."
"This man truly was a kind soul," a customer named Nelson wrote on social media. "Somehow he remembered my name, and would always greet me with a smile."
Wahdat is planning on launching a scholarship fund in Feola's name.
"We will teach his methods to our team and in his honor we plan on starting the Augie Feola Scholarship for students in good academic standing," Wahdat said.
"Friendship turns a stranger into a relative."
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