Larry and Melissa Foles, Nick Foles’ parents, are from Austin, Texas, and they run a line of restaurants. Indeed, Nick’s father is a successful entrepreneur whose career reads like a plot for a movie on the American dream, in which a scrappy restaurant manager grows to own a chain of restaurants himself.
Nick Foles, the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles in Super 2018, grew up in Austin, where he played football for Westlake High school before moving on to college play at Michigan State and then at Arizona. His sudden ascendance to the starting QB position for the Eagles – which came after an injury to Carson Wentz – has people wondering more about his mother and father.
Larry Foles is a “self-made millionaire.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Larry Foles Is the Founder of a String of Restaurants Known as Eddie V’s
Larry Foles, Nick’s dad, is a successful restaurateur. According to Bloomberg, “Foles is the Founder and Owner of Eddie V’s Restaurants, Inc. Mr. Foles has also taken an active role in numerous professional and community organizations and continues to reside in Austin, TX overseeing the Eddie V’s restaurants.”
Foles has opened restaurants throughout the United States, according to Bloomberg, which says he has “nearly 40 years of experience to the opening of Wildfish Seafood Grille. Mr. Foles co-owned and operates three successful restaurant concepts, in distinct markets, including Scottsdale, Arizona, Southern California, and Austin, Texas.”
In 2011, Eddie V’s was sold to another restaurant group (which runs the popular Olive Garden chain) for $59 million.
Austin Monthly notes, “Nick’s father Larry Foles is the founder of Eddie V’s Edgewater Grille and has co-owned other restaurants in Austin and other major cities. He helped develop Z’Tejas Southwestern Grille with Paul Fleming and still resides in Austin with his wife, Melissa.”
2. Larry Foles Rose Through the Ranks, Starting Out as an Assistant Manager at Shoney’s
Larry Foles’ story mirrors the stereotypical path of the American dream. He started out his restaurant career as Assistant Manager for Shoney’s back in the 1960s, reports Bloomberg. “He rose through the ranks, and in 1973, he opened Saturday’s in Baton Rouge.” Pretty soon his holdings grew. “Mr. Foles co-owned restaurant group Chez Fred’s in 1981 and sold it in 1987. In 1988, he developed the Z’Tejas Southwestern Grille concept with Paul Fleming. After growing Z’Tejas to eight locations, in the late nineties Mr. Foles divested the ownership to create a new restaurant company, Eddie V’s Edgewater Grille,” Bloomberg reports.
According to Larry’s website, he and his restaurant partner are “successful culinary restaurateurs Guy Villavaso and Larry Foles” who “have been bringing innovative and distinctive restaurant concepts to life that reflect their Southern hospitality, entrepreneurial spirit and flare for the culinary arts.” The website is called Guy and Larry Restaurants.
3. Larry Foles Says Nick Was ‘Always the Underdog’
Larry Foles grew up in the State of Mississippi, but Nick grew up in Austin, Texas, where his parents still live. Although Nick played football for Westlake High School, Larry Foles recalled in an interview with The Advocate how he thought his son would end up in the NBA because basketball seemed to be his greater love growing up.
“Nick was always the underdog,” Larry Foles said to the newspaper. “Nobody ever took him serious, and I think that was because of his laid back attitude. He was never high, never low. He just stayed in the middle, and he’s still like to this day.”
Despite that interview, Nick’s parents have been somewhat reluctant to speak with the news media. “His parents declined to speak with the media for this or any other story during the Eagles’ improbable run to the Super Bowl led by Foles, who spent most of the season as a backup to Carson Wentz before the latter tore his ACL,” Sports Illustrated reported.
4. Melissa Foles Is a Fitness Instructor Who Kicks Her Son’s Butt With Her Workouts
Nick Foles may get some of his athletic ability from his mom, Melissa. “She conducts a workout class that includes yoga, weight training, cardio, kickboxing and more, and her son is often a part of her sessions,” reports Delaware Online.
Her son struggles to keep up with her. My mom, she can still kick my butt in anything,” Nick Foles told the newspaper. “When you have your mom kick your butt, you can’t help but stay humble.”
Being humble is a trait that Larry Foles praises his son for exhibiting.”He’s one of the most earnest, humble, good people in the world,” Larry Foles said of Nick. “He understands adversity, and he understands the patience to get through it. He really understands, we talk about it all the time, the Philly fans.
5. Larry Foles Grew Up in Mississippi in a Hard Scrabble Background
To round out the inspirational story of Larry Foles even more, you need to know that he did not come from money. In fact, he was born in Mississippi and raised in a hard scrabble background. Larry Foles didn’t have a chance to succeed as an athlete because of his upbringing, according to Delaware Online. “Larry Foles couldn’t even finish high school. His parents split when he was a teenager, so he dropped out of high school and got a minimum wage job in Oregon,” the newspaper reported.
According to The Advocate, Larry Foles’ “humble beginnings included many odds-and-ends jobs to make ends meet before finding his niche in the restaurant business.” The Advocate quoted Larry as saying: “I grew up in Mississippi and took a right turn and headed that way.”
Sports Illustrated quotes a former high school teammate of Nick Foles as saying that Nick and his dad have different personalities. “I think Larry is an intense man, and a very successful man, and he’s been super hands on in everything he’s ever done and he’s been able to reap the benefits of that,” Matt Nader told SI. “Nick is very different than Larry. He’s always been confident, but he walks softly and carries a big stick. I think Larry’s nature and Nick’s nature were not the same. So I think in order for him to accomplish what he wanted to accomplish, he needed to be independent. So I think that’s what drove Nick to have those sorts of conversations.”