Come along for the ride!
A co-owner of a beloved Brooklyn grocery store is hopping on his bike along with hundreds of other cyclists this Sunday for a 50-mile trek across the city to raise awareness and funds for multiple sclerosis.
Three Guys from Brooklyn co-owner Phil Penta, Jr., said he’s joining this year’s Bike MS ride to honor his dad, who succumbed to the disease earlier this year after battling it for two decades.
“For me, finding a cure is personal,” Penta said. “My father, Philip C. Penta, a founder of Three Guys from Brooklyn, lost his courageous 20-year-battle with MS on Aug. 12, 2018. We watched my dad slowly give up the things he most enjoyed in order to focus on his health and stop the progression of MS.”
Penta said watching his father battle MS — an unpredictable, often-disabling disease of the central nervous system that affects more than two-million people worldwide, and for which there is no cure — profoundly affected his life, and career.
“It shaped my own life, my family’s, and that of the Three Guys family, as I took over management of his beloved store.”
The grocery store first opened at 6502 Fort Hamilton Pkwy. in 1975, closed years later, and reopened at that location in 1998 with Penta’s father as one of three co-owners. It recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, and is largely regarded as one of the city’s few remaining open-air produce markets.
Three Guys offers some 100 varieties of fruits and vegetables, along with deli and bakery products, and remains a go-to destination for thousands of customers because it is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
But Following the elder Penta’s death, the store’s “three guys” were reduced to two, with Penta, Jr., and Scott Zimmerman — the son of the market’s original founder, Stanley Zimmerman — left to run the ship.
The younger Penta will honor his late father on Sunday by using the passion his dad applied to the business to power every pedal he takes in the ride hosted by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, he said.
“My father loved running Three Guys,” Penta said. “Every mile I ride before and during the race will be fueled by his 20-year fight, and by the struggle that too many of us wage against MS, including the friends and loved ones who fight at their side.”
Penta set what he called an ambitious fund-raising goal of $10,000 for the ride, all of which he said will go to fund life-saving research, as well as services and support, for people affected by MS.
“I humbly ask you to join me in honoring not just my father, but the ongoing effort to find a cure by donating through our Three Guys From Brooklyn ride,” he said. “Thank you for your help in beating multiple sclerosis once and for all!”
Bike MS New York at Pier 92-94 (711 W. 54th St. at the West Side Highway in Manhattan) on Oct. 21. Those interested in registering for the ride, or donating towards Penta’s goal, can click on https://bit.ly/2MvUFg3.