R.I.P. Entrepreneur Jeno Paulucci

Jeno Paulucci, a Pioneer of Ready-Made Ethnic Foods, Dies at 93

First it was Chun King, the canned Chinese food that became a mainstay in American cupboards in the postwar decades. Then it was the pizza roll, a hybrid of Italian and Chinese fast food that acquired similar status in the kitchen freezer. Jeno Paulucci, a food magnate, had a hand in both of those contributions to the American diet, founding the companies that produced them. He died at 93 on Thursday at his home in Duluth, Minn.

In 1968 Mr. Paulucci founded Jeno’s Inc., a company that sold frozen pizzas and a variety of snacks. The most notable of these was undoubtedly the pizza roll, a combination single slice and egg roll. His family credits him with inventing it. He sold Jeno’s Inc. to Pillsbury for $135 million in 1985. The next year, Jeno’s Pizza Rolls were rebranded as Totino’s Pizza Rolls.

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2 responses to “R.I.P. Entrepreneur Jeno Paulucci

  1. Both brands, it’s worth noting, used Stan Freberg to create memorable advertising.

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