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Server of the Week: Fate Brewing waiter honored, surprised by nomination

Jacob Richard has been more than just an employee to the Tempe brewery. He has gone above and beyond for his customers and fellow employees.

TEMPE, Ariz. — It's said if you love what you do, it's not work. For our Server of the Week, this phrase really rings true.

After a rocky point in his young life, Jacob Richard found a place that gave him stability and community, and that made all the difference. 

At 23, he is just starting his adult life. With a smile on his face, a ready laugh and a positive attitude, you'd never think that this young man has had to push through some serious roadblocks, the first, when he was just 15 years old.

"When my mom passed in 2014, it was really hard for me," said Richard. "She was my biggest fan. My dad and I are not very close so I really struggled.”

For the next five years, Richard hopped from job to job, trying to find a balance and a place he fit in. Then he interviewed at Fate Brewery in Tempe.

“It gave me a community. A second family," he reflected. "I really only have my brother here, so it’s nice to have a fall back.”

With his job just a two-minute walk from his home, life began to stabilize for Richard. He soon met the Aravaipa Trail Running Group, led by Steve Kramer, who was searching for a place to establish his Monday evening socials, after their group run at South Mountain.

Richard immediately gelled with the group, and the crowd soon grew to around 25 people. One of those members is Marisol Gurrola. As soon as she learned about Server of the Week, she quickly nominated Richard. In her mind, he was already a member of the running group.

“He may not run with us, but he’s one of us,” she said. “We have him sign birthday cards, anniversary cards, we celebrated his birthday here, it was epic.”

Carlos Aguirre, the General Manager at Ken Garff Kia, agreed. 

“On behalf of Ken Garff Kia automotive group. We hear about how you have been taking care of your customers one table at a time," he said. "Everything you've been through, we're very proud to take care of you today and give you a $2,000 tip to thank you.”

The moment led to happy tears from several members of the running group and Richard. 

“He deserves this," Gurrola proclaimed. "He works so hard.”

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