TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- Andrew Kozak had some unique and special challenges growing up and attending school, but a year after graduating from Sleepy Hollow High School, the dynamic young man has taken his place in the workforce as a staffer at Yogurt La Crepe in downtown Tarrytown.
Kozak, who also does some part-time work at the local CVS in the stockroom, began working at Yogurt La Crepe just after it opened in July 2012 and has become a fixture at the shop that serves a variety of yogurts and crepe dishes.
"I just love my job, and the people here are great to me," Kozak said as he attended to his work cleaning the store's appliances. "I love talking to the customers, seeing people go shopping around and just working hard. The owner (Linda Fragale) will tell you that I have been here since it opened. It's a great place to work."
Fragale said Kozak came looking for work just after the store opened and has been a part of the Yogurt La Crepe family since.
"Andrew came in all the time for yogurt and other things and kept asking if we had a job for him," Fragale said. "He was so persistent and willing to work. He has the most amazing attitude -- positive and friendly. Although we were just starting out and didn't really have an opening at the time, we couldn't resist. He's just the best worker and he really loves interacting with the customers."
Kozak's job description includes cleaning, stocking the counters, helping the servers whenever he can and just keeping Yogurt La Crepe sparkling. But he excels at customer relations and provides a good amount of good will for the store.
"I like to be working and not just staying home and doing nothing, so I work at three or four days," Kozak said. "I may want to get some college classes someday too. But I want to work as much as I can and save my money for the future and to get the things I need to buy."
The young dynamo has also volunteered as an assistant with Sleepy Hollow High School's Special Olympics Pioneer Team, loves all kinds of music, sports and, of course, his work. He also said he enjoys working with fellow worker Matt Estremera.
"Yogurt La Crepe is going to open another store (in Queens), and it's the best place for yogurt around," Kozak boasted. "We have the best workers and owners, and we also have a job opening right now. Everyone should come by and try our crepes and yogurt."
For Fragale, residents of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow and the local Chamber of Commerce, there is no better ambassador for the business community than Andrew Kozak..
"Andrew is special in the most wonderful meaning of the word," Fragale said. "The place wouldn't be the same without him. His smile and his welcoming attitude are special."
Yogurt La Crepe is at 61 Broadway in Tarrytown.
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