Today’s news:

Ann Randazzo, icon of catering, 97

A beloved figure in the borough’s catering scene passed away last week. Anna Randazzo, the owner of Marina del Rey, died at the age of 97.

Randazzo is remembered as having one of the fiercest ambitions among those who run restaurants in the borough. She built Marina del Rey Catering from the ground up after running a successful Italian restaurant on E. Tremont Avenue in Throggs Neck, called Tom’s Villabianca, for 30 years.

Her longtime employees remembered Anna as someone with a strong work ethic who constantly demanded the best in terms of both service and food.

“I worked for Anna Randazzo for 36 years, and she was always a figurehead around Marina del Rey,” said Joe Savino, banquet manager at Marina del Rey. “She was completely hands-on, and anytime the doors were open she was here. Even when no parties were going on, she would be in catering facility cleaning up, making meatballs, and stuffing chickens along with the staff. She put in a minimum 12-hour-day, year in and year out.”

Savino said that Anna opened the Marina del Rey in August of 1972 after breaking ground on the waterfront site, which had been her late son’s boatyard. According to Savino, the business thrived ever since.

“She achieved success by never leaving well-enough alone. She constantly improved the facility so that no one could eer duplicate the Marina del Rey,” Savino said. “She never sat back on her laurels and wouldn’t let anyone else do so either. She would always say ‘let’s keep growing,’ and ‘let’s keep showing people more than they expect to see.’”

Savino said that Anna never cut corners and always put the customer first, and that this was evident in the way the catering establishment grew over the years.

Besides being someone who was respected by those who worked with her, she was also a person who listed and turned a sympathetic ear towards people in her employ.

“She was good to everyone and pleasant to talk to,” Savino stated. “She had good stories.”

Anna Randazzo supported the Sister Servants of Mary, and other religious orders located in Throggs Neck.

Her son Sal Randazzo, who helped found the catering facility with his mother in the early 1970s, continues to run the restaurant today.

“They were mother and son, of course,” Savino said. “But they were very much business partners.”

Pin It
Print this story Permalink

CNG: Community Newspaper Group