The secret to LaRosa's success is family

Mar 20, 2024 1461

BY: Donald “Buddy” LaRosa

My dad liked to give me pointers in life, but at a critical moment in my life 70 years ago, I’m so very glad that I chose to ignore his advice. After serving in the U.S. Navy − stationed in South Philadelphia, where I discovered the popularity of pizza and hoagies − and after helping my mother and my aunt sell slice after slice of pizza at the San Antonio church festival in Cincinnati’s Little Italy, the idea of opening a pizzeria was all I could think about.

But when I told my Sicilian-born father about my plan to open one of Cincinnati’s very first pizzerias, he said, "You gonna sell pizza? 'Med-i-gans' (what he called Americans) never gonna buy pizza from you."

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