SURF CITY — The Long Beach Island community is mourning the loss of a local business owner who passed away suddenly last week.
Mario Aversa, owner of Mario’s Italian Market in Surf City, passed away on November 7 from a heart attack and diabetes complications, according to his family. He was 46 years old. A GoFundMe page was created on Nov. 10 in Mario’s honor to raise funds for the Aversa family.
According to the fundraising site, Mario leaves behind his wife Dawn and two “beautiful, vibrant young daughters,” Annalise and Elena.
“This man was truly one of a kind. He was one of the special type of people that would drop what he was doing and lend a helping hand if a friend was in need. He was always just a phone call away if you needed someone to listen or needed some much needed advice. Mario was also an enormous part of the LBI community,” read the GoFundMe.
Mario resided in the Beach Haven West section of Stafford Township with his family. Born in New York City, Mario brought that authentic Italian essence down the shore.
According to his obituary, Mario enjoyed working in the food industry and earned his Degree from the Academy of Culinary Arts at the Atlantic Cape Community College. He then went on to fulfill his dream and opened Mario’s Italian Market.
According to his family, it would take four people to replace Mario’s presence at the popular Italian market. Through the busy summer season, Mario always found a way to service his customers while making time for his family.
The fate of Mario’s Italian Market is still unknown, but the store will remain closed until further notice as of Monday, Nov. 11.
“Dawn and her girls are obviously still in shock…Without her asking I want to try to do whatever I can do to help Dawn and the girls, whether it be funeral costs, utilities, groceries, mortgage payments, the upcoming holidays, etc. Any little bit helps,” wrote organizer Brooke Mesanko to the GoFundMe site.
“This amazing man will be missed by all,” wrote Mesanko.