A Middleboro Icon (Lorenzo Grosso)

LorenzoThey say that it takes a lifetime to get things right. I feel it takes a lifetime of hard work, honesty, compassion and drive to leave an everlasting legacy. Who we are dictates our success more than anything we will ever say. Last Thursday, July 25, 2013, Middleboro said goodbye to that type of person. Lorenzo Grosso who started Lorenzo’s in Middleboro years ago, passed away at the young age of 91. I was not a close friend of Lorenzo but when I saw him out and about or at Lorenzo’s, being around him was a treat for the inquisitive mind. The man oozed of hard work and passion for his trade. He was larger than life but as down to earth as you can be.

I first met Lorenzo in my earlier days in business. He was adding on to his restaurant and called me to ask me if I would do the finish work on the inside of the addition. I thanked him for thinking of me but had to tell him that we were furniture and cabinet makers and not finish men. I was honored that he thought of us and called us first. Over the years I would run into him many more times at Lorenzo’s as he was conversing with patrons and friends. He was always a fun and friendly man that you looked forward to bumping into. The man was the ideal of the American Dream. So much could be learned in that little time with him.

Being in business now for 34 years, I know the blood, sweat and tears that goes into building a smart, sustainable and thriving business. Sometimes the pressure and the time involved makes you think that you might have made a mistake. You get caught up with the details so much, we forget the true meaning of a successful business. It goes far beyond the profits and time spent. When I look back at Lorenzo’s, I see a place of stories, careers, relationships and good food. This man’s vision and courage to start his business, touched thousands and thousands of people over the years. Think about the many people this man touched who made their careers or part time jobs there. Think about the endless amount of relationships that this business brought together. Zo’s, which was the nickname that most gave it in the 50’s/60’s is where a good friend of mine met his wife. Lorenzo’s car hop was the place to be for many teenagers back then. It was a hangout that these teenagers developed friendships, being cool and confidence in themselves. This was always the place to be and eat. My uncle in New Jersey always stopped in to order their minestrone soup to go when he was up to visit. He didn’t leave Massachusetts till he had his soup to bring home. My other uncle in New Jersey always ate there several times when they were up to visit just for his Chicken or Veal Parmesan. My wife buys gallons of the minestrone repeatedly to bring home for supper. Lorenzo’s has always been the ideal for great food at a great price.

We never truly know the value of a man or woman until they are gone. The legacy that this man made will permeate on for years and years to come. I could go on and on about him. Lorenzo’s family has been running Lorenzo’s for many years now but I can probably guess that Lorenzo still had a presence and opinion during his retirement. We will miss Lorenzo and his love and kindness as much as I’m sure his family will. I have a sneaky feeling that his legacy and his spiritual presence will grace the dining and kitchen at Lorenzo’s for years to come. All I can say to the family is to keep making him proud. As I close, I would like to thank Lorenzo for the wonderful restaurant that he built and for all of him that he gave to us all. The world has lost a fine man but look at how much nicer heaven has become. I’m sure he has already made God a pizza and served him some good wine. Bon Appetit our friend, may you shine on into eternity! Thank you for all of the memories and the legacy that you left. We are all better people for knowing you! Rest in peace!             Tim Holick, Wood Palace Kitchens

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