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Even with decades of experience, Papa Luigi's still faces struggles amid the pandemic

Posted at 6:52 AM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 12:01:58-04

CUDAHY — Building Papa Luigi's from the ground up, Sal Purpora couldn't have been happier when his two sons, Frank and Salvatore took over the business.

"Frankie started taking over the business when he was 17. Tori jumped in right after college when he was 22," says Sal, owner, and founder of Papa Luigi's.

With decades of experience between father and sons, still, nothing could have prepared them for COVID-19.

"I mean it was a shock for everyone. All restaurants had experienced it. You had to adapt quickly. We were fortunate here that we had a pickup and delivery business established, we had online ordering. We also had the staff that since we couldn't open up the restaurant we were able to keep employed just by packaging and working curbside," says Frank Purpora, son of Sal who helps run Papa Luigi's.

Even with their famous pizzas and pasta heading out the door, the Purpora family still can't wait to offer guests a place to sit and eat.

"It's going to be a blessing to be able to talk to people when they come in, being able to eventually give someone a proper greeting when they come into the restaurant," says Salvatore, son of Sal and brother to Frank who helps run Papa Luigi's. "Just the other day the St. Francis mayor came in and said hey I want to support your customers like they have been supporting you and I want to help them support your business, giving us money to take-off of the bill for the next 20 people that came through the door."

As most establishments throughout Wisconsin, Papa Luigi's is a place built with love. With the help of the community, Frank and Salvatore will get their wish of passing on the business to the next generation.

"It's been here for, like my dad said, 38 years. I want it to be here for 100 years and the people of Cudahy and St. Francis have been making that possible," says Salvatore.

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