Barbara Tacconelli was co-owner of the award-winning Tacconelli’s Pizzeria; now the shop is run by her kids, who say they will carry on her legacy.
Barbara Cummiskey Tacconelli, 70, the co-owner of Port Richmond’s beloved Tacconelli’s Pizzeria, died on Dec. 22. The cause was heart failure, her family said.
“She was our rock,” said Tacconelli’s daughter-in-law, Roseanne Tacconelli, who was working at the pizzeria on Friday morning. “She was very well-loved.”
The family business is a tradition passed down since Giovanni Tacconelli came to Philadelphia in 1918, and after a few years, built a brick oven and went into business baking bread, later switching over to pizza pies.
Tacconelli, a Port Richmond native, married husband Vincent Tacconelli when she was 16, and they ran the pizzeria for 44 years, before retiring in 2002 and turning the business over to their children.
A neighborhood landmark located at Somerset and Almond streets, Tacconelli’s also earned several nods for the quality of its pizza pies from publications like Philadelphia Magazine, The Phildelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News.
It even survived a seven-month rebuilding of the brick oven.
Roseanne Tacconelli said the outpouring of support from the community has included letters and phone calls from across the country. Services at Cassizzi Funeral Home and the Mother of Divine Grace Church were filled to capacity, she said.
“It’s just unreal, the love and support from the mail that we’re getting here has been unbelievable,” Roseanne said.
Roseanne said that these days her husband, John Tacconelli, and his sister Dina, run the pizzeria.
“We gotta carry it on, that’s what she wanted,” Roseanne said. “She taught me everything that I know. She passed the pizza cutter on.”
Reporter Sam Newhouse can be reached at 215-354-3124 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.