By Lynne T. Jewell
There are many heroes in Los Feliz and we’re thankful to all of them. But we’re taking a moment to salute one of these special local figures.
Aldo Malesci has been the store director at the Gelson’s Market Los Feliz/Silver Lake for the past two decades, and during that time, he’s become a stalwart booster of the neighboring community. He goes above and beyond in taking care of his customers.
As you probably know, the store’s claim to fame is that it’s the original site of the Walt Disney Studios. When LFIA proposed a Mickey and Minnie Mouse 90th birthday social at Gelson’s a few years ago, Aldo went all out in making the event a huge success, highlighting it with a cake honoring the famous mouse couple.
“I can’t tell you how kind, thoughtful and professional Aldo always is,” said LFIA board member Standolyn Robertson. “When Aldo becomes involved, he’s ‘all in’ and makes everything special.”
Over the years, Team Aldo supported LFIA in countless ways, from selling our Los Feliz history books, getting involved in our 100th anniversary celebration to being a sponsor of our “Sock Hop” fundraiser for local schools.
Former LFIA board member Margret Lohfeld, LFIA’s Beautification Committee Chair for many years, shops at Gelson’s daily. She offered this testimonial: “All the customers, including myself, are thankful to Aldo for being a great store director and helping us whenever we need help.”
Aldo has a knack for treating everyone like they’re No. 1, but as a good manager, he never shows favoritism. Once on a Saturday football morning, he allowed me to cheer “Go Trojans” over the store’s intercom. Then a few minutes later, I heard another customer announcing, “Go Bruins.” He believes in equal time.
“It’s all the customers and my employees who have brought me joy and made the job,” admits the veteran manager.
Aldo joined what was formerly Mayfair Markets 50 years ago as a Fairfax High School teenager. Starting as a bagger, he worked in every department at many different locations before taking on the Los Feliz store’s managerial role in 1999. He had originally planned to retire earlier this year, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Aldo couldn’t leave his staff under those circumstances.
Aldo’s extra care for his customers goes beyond his store. Following the shooting tragedy two years ago at Trader Joe’s Silver Lake, right across the street, Aldo and staff showed their neighborly support by providing lunch to all the TJ employees when the store reopened.
It’s those thoughtful gestures that make Aldo Malesci the maestro manager he is, and LFIA thanks him a thousand times over for always being there for us. He said he plans to step down next year, with 50-plus-one years of service.
A version of this column appeared in the December 2020 issue of the Los Feliz Ledger.