How it all started
In 1925, Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria Napolitano was founded by Frank Pepe (the home of the original Frank Special). His sister Rachael Colonna worked at the pizzeria for over 50 years. She lived in the apartment above the pizzeria until she passed away in 1987. Her son Frank Colonna learned the pizza business from Frank Pepe, his uncle.
Frank Colonna joined the Army at 19 and was stationed in San Antonio, Texas. He met his wife Patricia and moved back to New Haven, Connecticut, where they raised 5 boys and perfected his pizza skills. He later moved to San Antonio, Texas to be closer to his wife’s family. Frank and Patricia opened Colonna’s Pizzeria in 1967 which they owned and operated for 21 years. All five sons grew up learning how to make pizzas. The five sons went on separate ventures, 3 of the sons went into the Navy and the other 2 sons went into different career fields, one going into custom house building and the other in the Air Conditioning business. When Frank Colonna retired he moved back to New Haven. The Colonna name is still known amongst the older generations in San Antonio as some of the best pizza.
Although Frank could never stay away from making pizza working at Frank Pepe’s a few times a week. Bobby Colonna moved back to New Haven to continue his education in the Air Conditioning business while going to school and working nights side by side with his father, once again at Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria. After getting his Associates Degree in Air Conditioning he went to work for Trane Air Conditioning for 10 years. Bobby later moved to Louisiana to continue the corporate path for another 11 years with Trane as a Field Service Representative. A few years later he came back to where his heart is today, the pizza making business, with this children helping. Occasionally his dad comes to visit working side by side with his son again. The tradition lives on.