It all started with a little green wagon and a paring knife, thus Berardi’s French Fries began and have continued for 70+ years, starting in 1939. Al Berardi worked in the Penny Arcade, selling ski-ball tickets working 60 plus hours a week making $11.00 per week. In 1942, Al Berardi along with a partner got their start by building the first French fry stand. After a few years, Al’s partner left to pursue other interests. So along with Al’s mother, Eurosia, (known by all as Momma Berardi) the Berardi’s continued to sell French fries along with owning and operating many of Cedar Points first rides.
Al’s brother, Eugene, his sister, Florence, and her husband, Joe Santi, also played a big part in the Cedar Point years. The Santi’s ran the original Waffle stand in the park and the Lagoon, and could make waffles as good as the Berardi’s could make French fries. So the food service business has always been a big part of the Berardi Family’s life.
In the 1970′s and 2 French Fry Stands later, the Berardi’s were selling as many as 2 tons of potatoes in a single day. That’s a lot of potatoes! In 1978, after almost 40 years of great success and much hard work, the Berardi’s and the original Berardi French Fries left Cedar Point. It was a very sad time for Al and the Berardi family as this had become a way of life for them.
The Berardi family also had several restaurants. Berardi’s Wagon Wheel which specialized in fresh roast beef sandwiches, French fries, and of course, Roseanne Berardi’s famous home made pies. It was run by the family for many years and eventually was sold. The BZB (for Busy Berardi’s) restaurant, began down the street a few blocks in 1962. It was sold a couple of times under land contract and taken back over by the Berardi’s and re-opened in 1977. Berardi’s Family Restaurant in Huron, was opened in 1979. It is owned by Susan Berardi Fawcett and Al Berardi, the two youngest Berardi offspring. When the Berardi’s opened the Restaurant in Huron, most of the family went there to work.
Tom Leber & Maria Berardi Leber (now Nainee) first leased and eventually purchased the Sandusky restaurant. In 1989, we purchased our current location, the former Stadium Diner. We have been part of carrying on this “Berardi Tradition” for over 25 years.
Al Berardi died of cancer in November of 1984, his wife Roseanne died in 1992. They are greatly missed by their family and the many people they have worked with over the years. They have left behind a good name that their family takes great pride in. Al & Rosanne’s love for people, their dedication and promise of quality have and always will be the reason why Berardi’s Restaurants have been so successful. We have always done our best to carry on that tradition.
So from Tom, Maria and the rest of the Berardi family, we wish to THANK all of you, our loyal customers, for being an important part of our success and we hope to please you and serve you for years to come.
Tom Leber & Maria Berardi Nainee