1889: The Catanzaros opened their first business in Springfield, Ohio, located at the old City Market. Catanzaro's Fruit & Vegetables became a well-known and trusted name throughout Springfield and surrounding areas. A presence was maintained at the City Market by the Catanzaro family until it closed to make way for what is currently the Springfield Heritage Center. Every vendor there had their own little niche. Catanzaro's niche was celery hearts, along with other fancy fruits.
Young Russell Catanzaro and Family
1911: Russell Catanzaro, father of current owner Joe Catanzaro, was born. He served in the Army Air Corp during WWII. After the war, Russell returned home and continued to occupy a stand at the City Market, carrying on his family's tradition. He also opened a store front on West Main Street.
1951: The current Russ & Joe Catanzaro's Pizza and Subs was built at 433 Dayton Avenue. Fruits and Vegetables were sold in the store during the day, until 7:00 p.m. and then pizzas were made and sold in the evenings from 7:00 - 10:00 p.m.
Fresh Catanzaro Produce
1960: By the late 1960's, Catanzaro's stopped selling pizzas to concentrate on fruits, vegetables, and fruit baskets. Over the next 20 years, there was a great deal of growth and stabilization in the produce business. Catanzaro's had developed a huge customer base, both at the City Market and the Dayton Avenue location. But in the 1980's, Springfield saw the influx of big box stores and fierce produce competition emerged.
1995: Catanzaro's re-introduced pizza in the store. Joe always loved to cook, and with the produce business slowing down, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to introduce the family's favorite pizza recipes, made in the Old World style. Joe's passion for cooking also led to the expansion of the menu, offering subs, pasta dishes, and more to the already loyal customers.
Joe Catanzaro (right) and Cousin Frank
Vice President Biden and Catanzaro Family