skip to content

EARLY DAYS

1954 – THE JOURNEY

Palermo’s founders, Gaspare (Jack) Fallucca and his wife, Zina, immigrated to the U.S., bringing with them cherished family recipes and the Italian tradition of connecting food and family. They settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and were blessed with three sons, Peter, Giacomo, and Angelo.

1954 – THE JOURNEY

1964 – MILWAUKEE BEGINNINGS

The company began as an Italian bakery on Milwaukee’s East Side. Initially selling Italian breads, cookies and cannoli, they later added Italian soups and sandwiches. Soon they acquired the hardware store next door and expanded.

1964 – MILWAUKEE BEGINNINGS

1969 – REALIZING A DREAM

Jack and Zina opened a pizzeria & restaurant to satisfy customer demand for their homemade Italian foods. However, it was their Pizza and Pizza bread that really took off. During the same time, Palermo’s was named “Milwaukee’s Best Pizza” in a Milwaukee Journal article. A local grocery store owner, impressed with their Pizza products, urged Jack and Zina to go into the frozen food business. The rest is history.

1969 – REALIZING A DREAM

PIZZA MANUFACTURING

1979 – FROM RESTAURATEUR TO FROZEN PIZZA MANUFACTURER

The company began making frozen Pizza and Pizza bread in an old bakery that was renovated into a manufacturing facility. These Pizzas and Pizza breads were sold under the Palermo’s brand name, and Jack Fallucca soon became known as “Papa Palermo.”

1979 – FROM RESTAURATEUR TO FROZEN PIZZA MANUFACTURER

1989 – FIRST RISING CRUST

Palermo’s introduced a revolutionary new product – the first frozen Pizza with a crust that rises while it bakes. It was an instant success, so much so that other Pizza manufacturers quickly began developing their version of this crust.

1989 – FIRST RISING CRUST

1993 – PALERMO’S ENTERS PRIVATE LABEL BUSINESS

Palermo’s exhibited at the national Private Label Manufacturing Show, which launched the company into the private label Pizza business. At this time, Palermo’s introduced the first premium private label Pizza.

1993 – PALERMO’S ENTERS PRIVATE LABEL BUSINESS

2003 – FIRST ULTRA-THIN CRUST

Demonstrating innovation once again, Palermo’s launched Primo Thin, the first frozen, ultra-thin crust Pizza. Aptly named Primo, meaning “first” in Italian, the crisp and flakey cracker-like crust was an immediate hit and became the company’s flagship brand.

2003 – FIRST ULTRA-THIN CRUST

MOVE TO VILLA

2006 – LIVING THE DREAM

Palermo’s headquarters moves to Milwaukee’s beautiful Menomonee Valley. Villa Palermo, our 137,000-sq-ft. facility, consolidates five locations and houses our corporate offices and manufacturing facility.

2006 – LIVING THE DREAM

2007 – FIRST U.S. ITALIAN HEARTH-BAKED CRUST

Using a hearth oven imported from Italy, Palermo’s created the first domestic hearth-baked crust on a frozen Pizza. The intense 600-degree heat of the bricks bakes the crust in 60 seconds, creating air pockets that give the Pizza a crispy crust, much like an Italian wood-fired Pizza.

2007 – FIRST U.S. ITALIAN HEARTH-BAKED CRUST

2010 – PALERMO’S LAUNCHES PIZZERIA-STYLE FROZEN PIZZA

Palermo’s introduces hand tossed style Pizza, which was inspired by a pizzeria-style crust. The crust is crispy on the outside, but chewy in the middle, making it the perfect choice for family Pizza night.

2010 – PALERMO’S LAUNCHES PIZZERIA-STYLE FROZEN PIZZA

2011 – GROWING AGAIN

An expansion to our Villa added 113,000 sq. ft. for bakery, production and employee services.

2011 – GROWING AGAIN

2012 – Introducing Flatbreads

Perfect as an appetizer or a meal for two, flatbreads offered sophisticated flavor combinations on a hearth-baked crust.

2012 – Introducing Flatbreads

2013 – First Super Premium Frozen Pizza

Palermo’s introduced Screamin’ Sicilian, an overtopped craft Pizza that took the industry by storm. With Screamin’s launch, Palermo’s earned the distinction of creating an entirely new, super premium category of frozen Pizza.

2013 – First Super Premium Frozen Pizza

2014 – 50TH ANNIVERSARY

In celebration of our 50th anniversary, Palermo’s committed to donating 50,000 Pizzas to food banks across the country. By the end of our tour, we had delivered more than 75,000 Pizzas, feeding over 300,000 families!

2014 – 50TH ANNIVERSARY

2015 – P’MOS CHEESY PUB-STYLE PIZZA

P’mos, a cheesy pub-style Pizza, hits supermarket shelves.

2015 – P’MOS CHEESY PUB-STYLE PIZZA

2016 – URBAN PIE AND MORE

We launched Urban Pie, a super premium line of small batch, craft Pizza made with real Wisconsin cheese and free of artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. We also extended our successful Screamin’ Sicilian line with the addition of Screamin’ Sicilian Stromboli, a handheld snack with all the flavor of the original. And we teamed up with a major retailer to create and launch Sasquatch, a huge Pizza with a big stompin’ crust, positioning Palermo’s as a leading Pizza partner.

2016 – URBAN PIE AND MORE

2017 – A YEAR OF GROWTH

Early in the year, Palermo’s acquired Connie’s Naturals, LLC, a frozen Pizza company with a loyal following. The acquisition helps solidify our position as one of the nation’s largest Pizza companies.

Palermo’s entered the Deli & Foodservice business, launched with the sale of 16” deli Pizza to a major nationwide retailer.

We capped off the year by introducing I’m Single, a single-serve, microwavable version of our popular Screamin’ Sicilian Pizzas. We also added Palermo’s King Cheese to our Family of Brands; the Ruler of Great Taste boasts a half pound of real Wisconsin Mozzarella and an abundance of premium toppings on a thin, rich, buttery crust.

2017 – A YEAR OF GROWTH