Food, like family and faith, was always dearest to the heart of Albert “Al” Collette.
In June 1973, Collette’s Catering was inadvertently launched when Collette and his wife JoAnna catered a niece’s wedding.
The response was so efficacious that five years later, Collette left his job at Alpha Beta to open the Northern Avenue staple that continues to proclaim his name and legacy.
On Aug. 25, Collette, the patriarch of a family business that he operated until the age of 75, died at the age of 83.
The importance of food, for both sustenance and enjoyment, was a life lesson Collette passed on to his family, noted Patrick Collette, who along with his sister, JoAnna Yarberry, runs the business.
“Growing up, we didn’t have much money and Dad worked three jobs,” said Patrick Collette. “Dad turned the entire backyard into a garden. He grew vegetables, raised chickens, goats and rabbits.