When Bertha D. Torres opened La Concha in Jersey City, she promised one of her first customers Johnny Baez she'd be there until death.
"I will always remember these words," Baez said in a tribute on Facebook.
That fateful day came on April 16, when Torres passed away at 64 years old. Community members say she changed the neighborhood for good.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Torres launched her 30-year career in Hoboken before settling in Jersey City.
She worked hard and was glad to, treating every customer like family and making sure they left with full hearts and stomachs.
"It is surreal to think of how I would always go to La Concha and how she would greet me like as if I was her son," Michael Vales said. "Berta you were one of the kindest people I have ever met. Prayers out to her son and his family."
"What an incredible soul gone way too early," Councilman Daniel Rivera said.
"Berta was an amazing icon in our Latino restaurant world here in Jersey City. Her smile and personality was contagious... once you entered in La Concha she would see right through you and immediately entered into a conversation that was soothing. Central Ave will miss you."
"Always welcoming," Deborah Zindle-Santana added. "I’ve seen her perform some great acts of kindness."
Visitation : Monday, April 22, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., Riotto Funeral Home & Cremation Company, 3205 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Jersey City, NJ 07306 (For GPS Navigation it is best to use parking lot entrance address: 14 Stagg St., Jersey City.
Funeral : Tuesday, April 23, 9 a.m., Riotto Funeral Home & Cremation Company, with Funeral Mass to follow at 10 a.m., St. Paul of the Cross Church, 156 Hancock Ave., Jersey City.
Entombment : Holy Name Mausoleum, 823 West Side Ave., Jersey City.
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