(March 5, 6:35 p.m.) Rocco âRockyâ Russo Sr., founder of Detroit-based Rocky Produce Inc., died Feb. 20. He was 79.
Russo opened Rocky Produce, a full-line distributor located on the Detroit Produce Terminal, in 1957, said David Shoemaker, Rockyâs assistant controller and operations manager.
Russo and his brother, Dominic, got their start in the produce business earlier in the 1950s, Shoemaker said. They would drive a truck down to Florida, fill it up with fruits and vegetables, drive it back and sell it in Detroit.
At Rockyâs Historical Market, a small retail store Russo ran in the Eastern Market section of Detroit, he was known for greeting consumers over the public address system with âItâs a beautiful day at Rockyâs,â Shoemaker said.
Russoâs nephew Jack Russo is Rockyâs president. His son Rocky Jr. and nephew Ron Russo are vice presidents, and his son Tom is a salesman.
Russo is survived by his wife, Bernida, and by seven children and 24 grandchildren.