MILWAUKEE -- Gaspare "Jack" Fallucca, the founder of Palermo's Pizza, died on the morning of Thursday, October 4th. He was 82 years old.
Falluca was also known as Papa Palermo. In 1964, he opened Palermo Villa Inc., which began as an Italian bakery on Milwaukee’s East Side. Initially selling Italian breads, cookies and cannoli, they began making Italian soups and sandwiches. Soon, they acquired the hardware store next door and expanded.
In 1969, Fallucca opened an Italian restaurant next door to his bakery. It was an instant hit.
Palermo's began making frozen pizza breads in 1978, in an old bakery that was renovated into a manufacturing facility on Milwaukee's South Side.