Mr. Rocky Rococo was born in 1948 in Newark, N.J., the son of Lillian "Mama” Rococo and Albert “Night Breeze” Rococo. Born into a life of pizza, Rocky followed Mama’s example and helped to support his family by selling Sicilian pizza by the slice from a pushcart on the streets of Newark.
Rocky spent 20 years of his life pushing his cart, and it is estimated that he wore out 347 pairs of shoes in his endeavor. As Rocky got older, he decided to strike out on his own. He seemed to have no trouble landing, in quick succession, the position of encyclopedia salesman, the job running the “ring the bell” game with a traveling carnival, and a job selling coupon books. Then Rocky started the job that would change his life....selling pizza peels. (To the uninitiated, a pizza peel is a big flat thing with a long handle that is used to pull pizzas out of the oven). Soon Rocky was getting into pizzeria kitchens all over the country; learning the tricks of the trade in the process and consuming thousands of pizzas. Like all aspiring pizza purveyors, Rocky thought he could make better pizzas. Not surprisingly, he could. Encouraged by his friends, Rocky opened his first restaurant in Madison, WI in April of 1974. The rest is history.