Vincent Gruppuso

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Vincent Gruppuso (October 25, 1940 – December 29, 2007) was an American businessman and former deliveryman, who created and founded Kozy Shack Enterprises, a multimillion-dollar company known for its pudding.[1]

Early life[edit]

Gruppuso was born in Brooklyn, New York, on October 25, 1940, to parents Joseph and Mazie Ditta Gruppuso.[2] His dad was a construction worker and his mother was a seamstress.[2]

He worked as an aerial photographer in the United States Navy during the late 1950s, before returning to Brooklyn.[2] He worked at several jobs before being hired by the Arnold Bread company as a deliveryman.[2]

Gruppuso's marriage to Virginia Pantaleo ended in divorce.[2]

Kozy Shack Enterprises[edit]

Gruppuso continued to work as a bread deliveryman in Brooklyn during the 1960s.[2] He discovered the Cozy Shack delicatessen on Seneca Avenue in Brooklyn, which happened to be one of his delivery stops.[2] He soon began selling trays of the puddings from the Cozy Shack to his other customers on his delivery route, in addition to the bread.[2]

He bought the recipe for the puddings outright from the Cozy Shack delicatessen in 1967 and opened a small factory in Ridgewood, Queens.[2] The small company quickly expanded into a major business. As of January 2008, Gruppuso's company has more than 400 employees working in three plants, which are located in Turlock, California, Hicksville, New York and Lough Egish, Ireland.[2] The company estimated its total revenue at around $140 million in 2007, much of it from the sale of 115 million containers of pudding and pastries during that year.[2] Cozy Shack puddings are sold throughout Europe, the United States, Mexico and Canada.[2]

In 2006, the New York Times named Kozy Shack's rice pudding as one of its "Grocery Gems."[1] [2]

In 2012, Kozy Shack Enterprises was sold to Land O'Lakes.[3]

Death[edit]

Vincent Gruppuso died at his home in East Hampton, New York, on December 29, 2007, of complications from diabetes at the age of 67.[2] He is survived by three daughters, his former wife, a brother and sister, and five grandchildren.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Vincent Gruppuso, 67, founder of Kozy Shack pudding co.". Associated Press (Boston Globe). 2008-01-14. Retrieved 2008-01-18. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Hevesi, Dennis (2008-01-11). "Vincent Gruppuso, 67, Seller of Pudding Snacks, Dies". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-01-18. 
  3. ^ "Land O’Lakes Closes Kozy Shack Acquisition", 01 August 2012. Retrieved on 06 August 2013.

External links[edit]