SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Nicola Caputo, the founder of Red Rose Pizzeria in Springfield has died.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno issued a statement on his death saying Caputo was always a gentleman and never strayed from his values of family, quality food, and customer service.

He opened Red Rose back in 1963. Now, the iconic restaurant on Main Street is owned by his children Rita and Tony.

“I am so saddened to hear about Mr. Nicola “Nick” Caputo’s passing. My wife Carla and daughters Cassandra and Chiara send our sympathy, thoughts, prayers, and encouragement to Nick’s wife Edda Caputo, daughters Rita and Carmela, son Tony, family, and friends. Mr. and Mrs. Caputo are dear family friends, who go back to the ‘old country’ with my mom and dad, Clara and Al ‘The Barber.’ From the small town of Bracigliano, Italy, Nick brought a hard family work ethic to start with a small family pizza shop to then create the legendary and iconic Red Rose Pizzeria. This hard work ethic was passed on to their children, Rita, Carmela, and Tony. Nick being always the gentleman, never strayed from his values of family, quality food, and customer service. You will be missed, my friend. Your legacy will live on through your “familia.” ‘You can hear St. Peter up in heaven now saying “wow this is great pizza!” God rest your soul Mr. Caputo.”

Mayor Domenic Sarno

Fellow South End business leader Rico Daniele fondly remembers Nick Caputo’s impact on the neighborhood as the Red Rose grew from its modest beginning to its iconic status, “Red Rose started in 1963, I was 13 years old. I painted a wall. What a nice man, both from the same town of Bracigliano, what a nice man, hard working people.”

Red Rose Pizzeria was rated as the number one highest-rated pizza restaurants in the Springfield area just months ago. Funeral arrangements for Caputo are still in the planning phase.