A New Brunswick restaurant proprietor who overcame a historical past of drug dependancy is unwilling to let the pandemic spoil his goals.
Nestled alongside Important road within the quiet village of Hillsborough, N.B., sits Rocco’s Cucina restaurant.
Rocco Agostini, who moved to New Brunswick in 2008, opened the restaurant within the village within the fall of 2018. He mentioned he nearly stopped in his tracks when he drove previous the property on the market whereas on a motorbike tour via the small village.
“I acquired a chill via my physique proper once I noticed it and I mentioned, ‘Right here it’s,’” mentioned Agostini, who grew up in Toronto, the son of oldsters who immigrated to Canada from Italy within the Fifties.
“It has at all times been about grassroots Italian and right here we’re.”
Having labored for eating places in Toronto for years, he mentioned he has lastly fulfilled a lifelong dream of proudly owning his personal restaurant. He opened the doorways within the fall of 2018 and simply over a yr later, the surprising occurred: the pandemic hit.
“The final yr has been powerful for everyone. In fact, you recognize, all people has their highs and lows for positive,” mentioned his spouse Emily Agostini, who mentioned her husband is aware of all about surviving lows.
“He persevered and he nonetheless preserves.”
Rocco mentioned that whereas working as a cook dinner in Toronto, his life took a nasty flip.
“Drug dependancy and alcoholism inside kitchens and stuff like that and I acquired sucked into it and it was simply to the purpose that my drug dependancy was consuming,” he mentioned.
He mentioned he discovered sobriety via a program referred to as Teen Problem, the place he met his now-wife of 12 years. He has been sober now for nearly 14 years and mentioned he’s unwilling to let the pandemic spoil his dream.
Even amid COVID-19 enterprise shutdowns and border closures and an absence of tourism site visitors driving previous his restaurant over the past yr, he retains going.
“If it wasn’t for folks supporting native and the dedication this yr would have been very totally different for our household,” mentioned Emily, who mentioned the couple are extremely grateful for the assist from the encompassing communities.
Being unable to see his mother and father nonetheless in Toronto has been tough, mentioned Rocco, who mentioned his coronary heart goes out to his family and friends again dwelling in Toronto.
“Hopefully when issues get higher they may have the ability to come and go to and see what I’ve performed out right here,” he mentioned.
He mentioned his restaurant has needed to make some modifications to regulate to the pandemic. He mentioned folks now want a reservation to dine for dinner within the six-table restaurant that makes a speciality of genuine Italian delicacies. Rocco says he’s grateful to be dwelling in a province with such supportive folks.
“This gained’t cease me. If I can overcome drug dependancy with the assistance of the holy spirits, piece of cake.”
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