After 15 years in business in Endicott, New York, Mama Giuseppa’s, a mom-and-pop pizza shop operated by Albert and Molly Hecker, closed its
doors in June. But that evocative name, inspired by
Albert’s own beloved mother, lives on, now as a pasta
sauce brand created by the Heckers in her honor. Here,
Albert shares their journey from pizza operators to pasta
sauce and private labeling entrepreneurs.
PMQ: TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT
Hecker: I was just 26 when I started to realize that running a pizzeria, which I’d been doing for my uncle for
years, was exactly what I wanted to do for myself, with my
own pizzeria. With the help of my mother and my sister,
I did some hard work in finding the right place, pitching
the idea to the bank and remodeling the building, and
Mama Giuseppa’s was open a few months later. Our menu
included everything from Eggplant Parmigiana, Chicken
Saltimbocca and Pesto Rosa pizzas to big cuts of steak and
homemade soups. One of the most popular items on the
menu was our homemade garlic knots that I made daily
PMQ: HOW DID YOU END UP GOING INTO
THE SAUCE BUSINESS?
Hecker: At first, I had decided not to sell my sauces except
in the dishes I created in the restaurant. But, thanks to
the demand from my customers, I changed my mind.
People wanted to enjoy the sauces in their own homes. So
The former operators of a mom-and-pop pizza shop roll the dice
and take their popular pasta sauce to the next level. By Rick Hynum
Little Shay Hecker is the new spokesmodel for Mama Giuseppa’s private-label pasta sauces.
Got a story to tell our readers?
What makes your pizzeria different? Email Rick at firstname.lastname@example.org and brag about yourself!
MAMA GIUSEPPA’S | COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO