BLAIR COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ)– The Delgrosso family name still impacts generations of families in Central PA, being in business for 75 years.
Fred and Mafalda “Murph” Delgrosso bought the park in 1946 when it was then called Bland’s Park. They immediately began improvements by including more rides, concession stands, and restrooms.
Their legacy has grown to have a fully operational amusement and water park plus a commercial facility that produces both Delgrosso and national product brands. Second and third-generation family members are leading those buildings.
Joe Delgrosso is the son of the Fred and Murph and runs the Delgrosso Foods. Carl Crider is the eldest grandchild and runs the theme parks. They both described that they feel fortunate to cross this milestone of 75 years.
“It’s about tradition as much as anything,” Delgrosso said. “People associate the brand. People associate the park with that brand. So we feel very fortunate that we’re able to continue that legacy of what my mother and father started 75 years.”
A staple to the brand is its line of sauces. The original sauce recipe was made in their old cafe in Altoona before making its way down to Tipton to begin production in a small cafe within the amusement.
Delgrosso said only about three to five cases were produced in the shop daily. Their company now makes over 22,000 cases daily within their commercial facility.
Their product line has also grown through the years. Delgrosso specified that they only made around ten sauces when producing in the amusement park. Now, they make between 250 to 300 products among the Delgrosso and national brands. Their brand is shipped nationwide and is featured in multiple grocery chains.
“We built a good repertoire with our customers; they’ve been very loyal to the Delgrosso brand,” Delgrosso said. “They grew up with it. We grew up with it.”
One of their Delgrosso Food Brand staples is “Murph’s Potato Salad.” The fan-favorite is made in quantities during the Fourth of July celebrations. They bring out even more food staples during their annual celebrations and festivals.
The park has also continued to model after the same policy of having a clean-safe park at reasonable prices. Individual ride tickets are only $0.50 each.
“We build it on the mission of my grandparents,” Crider said. “You know, provide quality entertainment at a fair price and those principles. Clean, safe, friendly environments are the things. That happened from the minute we bought it, so people recognize that.”
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However, both CEOs reflect that some of the most significant accomplishments come from the loyalty of their customers and the generations that come to the parks. Crider said it’s amazing to see customers come in with their grandchildren.
“When you see the smiles, and they know. That’s an impression they’ll never forget coming to this park,” Crider said. “I’ve had so many kids I’ve worked with, and now they’re here as adults with their children. It’s just amazing the reflection on how that happens. It’s really neat.”
“The biggest thing we look at is not how much money we’re going to make; it’s the fact that we can continue the legacy of the family business,” Delgrosso said. “And continue to grow. Can we get into the fourth generation? Can we get into the fifth generation?”
The Delgrosso food brand is looking forward to expanding its current facilities and launching in the fall/early winter.