A Lake Worth Thanksgiving tradition came to an end Thursday. The Farmer Girl Restaurant served its free Thanksgiving lunch for the last time.
“We feel like we are one family,” said owner Pete Roubekas.
He first started giving away free turkey dinners on Thanksgiving 32 years ago. This will be his last.
“I know my heart wants to continue, but my body tells me to slow down,” said Roubekas standing in the kitchen, where he started working at 4:00 in the morning.
The Greek immigrant said it’s not about the money, that’s never been a consideration. It’s just too big of an undertaking for the 79-year-old to continue.
His mission has been to make people happy on the holiday. It’s something he saw accomplished through the very end.
“I love the happiness of the people’s faces when they come in to eat,” said Roubekas.
The owner’s daughter and other family work the front of the house.
“It gives you that good feeling in your heart that you take throughout the whole year,” explained daughter Eleni Spanos.
The family has provided that good feeling, and good food to an entire city.
“It’s an honor to be able to do it,” said Spanos. “My father led by example and showed one man really can make a difference.”
The restaurant isn’t shutting down. It just won’t serve the free Thanksgiving meal any longer.