Fratelli Nuccio’s sweet industry in Palermo closes after 73 years of glory

After 73 years, the curtain falls on the Nuccio confectionery industry in Palermo. A life dedicated to work and the work of a lifetime for five of the eight brothers, Antonino, Giovanni, Giuseppe, Vincenzo, and Eugenio, who, after their father Salvatore’s death in May 1951, formed a company called “Fratelli Nuccio confectionery Industry S.n.c.” The announcement of the closure came as a bolt from the blue this morning around 9:30, with a laconic post on Facebook, simply stating “We communicate that the activity will be closed indefinitely.” In six hours, almost two hundred comments and over thirty shares from saddened customers and friends followed. While the shop shutter remained closed without any paper announcement.

The Nuccio brothers’ industry evolved over time to become a reference point for pastry shops and ice cream parlors in Sicily. Nuccio was also an indispensable retail store for those passionate about homemade sweets, with endless lines on the sidewalk of Corso Calatafimi, especially during the feast of the dead, to buy ingredients to make the inevitable “frutta di Martorana” or the Easter lambs.

The 1950s and 1960s were a period of great development for the company. The brothers’ expertise, guided by their father Salvatore, who initially ran a grocery and sweet shop, was crucial in developing various industrial products. In 1968, for example, a large oven measuring thirty meters was purchased, becoming the largest productive oven in the southern region in those years and the following decade.

The five brothers, as stated on their website, had acquired knowledge in various production sectors: Antonino in pastry, Giovanni in purchasing and sales, Giuseppe in administration, Vincenzo in the production of sugared almonds, and Eugenio in the production of candied fruit. The production of candied fruit, in particular, made the Nuccio confectionery industry a true reference in the pastry world. The “Canale di zucca,” starting from the 1960s, became the most important and identifying product due to its exclusive quality of processing. The term “Canale” was coined by the brothers for the similarity of the pumpkin slice to the Sicilian tile called “Canale.” Another flagship product was the “Late Candied Mandarin from Ciaculli,” harvested in the Ciaculli area and now a slow food presidium.

In a constantly evolving market that did not achieve the same successes as in the past, and with the arrival of the pandemic, the Nuccio brothers, with the indispensable collaboration of grandchildren, reacted by launching an e-commerce for the online sale of their products, which was active with deliveries until a few days ago. A touch of modernity that was not enough to prevent the definitive closure of a historic store, forcing the five brothers to bow their heads in front of an increasingly inevitable economic crisis. Memories remain, as well as the beautiful moments shared with the city. The sweetness disappears forever, leaving a bitter taste. Memories of the Nuccio family and a lifetime of customers remain.

Fratelli Nuccio, dopo 73 anni di gloria cala il sipario sull’industria dolciaria di Palermo

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