The New England Convenience Store & Energy Marketers Association, or NECSEMA, is honoring the late Wilfred Iandoli, chairman of Honey Farms, as its 2016 NECSEMA Hall of Fame inductee.
Iandoli was one of seven brothers born to Albert and Mary Iandoli of Worcester, Massachusetts. He started working at an early age in his father’s grocery store.
After high school, at 17 years old, Iandoli joined the Coast Guard Reserves and was assigned to serve aboard a U.S. Navy destroyer escort in the North Atlantic. He was a fireman second class on the USS Howard D Crow D.E. 252, which escorted ships to the European Theater. Iandoli was proud of his service in the military and often told stories about those years.
Following the war, he joined his other six brothers in the Iandoli Supermarkets, which was founded by his father in 1921.
Iandoli worked as a corporate officer in the markets and, in 1968, the brothers opened their first convenience store under the name Millbrook Farms. The following year, they purchased Honey Farms and Iandoli was made president and CEO. He would lead Honey Farms through ups and downs, overseeing 55 locations in the mid 1980s.
He also was one of the founders of NECSA, which was formed to fight for the smaller stores regarding the blue laws, the bottle bill and tobacco and liquor regulations. He also was a member of NACS, serving seven years on its board of directors. He was a member of the American Legion for 65 years, and he was a third-degree member of the Knights of Columbus. A program in which he was most proud to be involved was Adopt A Student, run by the Catholic Diocese of Worcester.
NECSEMA Executive Director Joanne Mendes said, “Wilfred was an inspiration to all as he strived for customer service, quality products and a clean working environment. His weekend ride to the stores are legendary—out of stocks and clean stores always on the radar. A truly amazing man that will be missed by all.”
Mendes presented the Hall of Fame plaque to Dave Murdock, who was long mentored by Iandoli.