by Pete Marczyk
We just got some very sad news: Gary Giambrocco passed away earlier this morning. Gary was an icon in the food business in Denver — he and his family have been quietly supplying markets, restaurants, and institutions with produce, dry goods, and staples for over a hundred years. He was legitimately the nicest guy we have worked with over the past 16 years, and I will miss him greatly.
Gary never took time off; his warehouse was only open while he was there. He was the first to arrive, and the last to leave. Kids use "O.G." and "Old School" to describe iconoclasts; Gary was O.G.O.G. and he was O.G.Old School. Every day, he went through his Rolodex (he still used one) start to finish — calling each customer on the phone, and the rap was always the same, regardless of who picked up the phone: “Hey, babe…how ya doin’? just checking in to see if there’s anything you need for tomorrow…” Every day. If the answer was no, he always went on to add, "No problem, babe…we’re here if you need us — just give a call and let us know and we’ll take care of you…” And he always did.
Early in our days, when I wasn’t sure if I could make the business work and I was behind with vendors, Gary gave me a pep-talk. He told me tough times don’t last, but tough bastards like us do. He made me think I was like HIM — what a huge compliment! Gary always worked with us, providing guidance, logistics support, sourcing products. Helping us to cut out “the bastards,” he would warehouse overstock and provide turkey storage for two important weeks of the year — always working with us. If you went to visit, you would leave with a bag of fruit "for the kids." Gary made everything sound easy — it was just his way. He would tell me about “having never worked a day in his life” even though he worked EVERY day of his life.
Maya Angelou said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Gary leaves behind generations of an entire industry of people whom he made feel great and special every time he said, “Hey, Babe!”
Marczyk’s will miss Gary Giambrocco tremendously. Our sympathy, thoughts, condolences and prayers are with his family.