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Rose Totino

Totino's Pizza

1951 - 1975

Food & Tobacco

1950 b. 1915
Born-Died1915 - 1994
BirthplaceMinnesota (MN)
FatherLaborer, Un-/Semi-skilled
Era - 1950

Using her car as collateral, Totino secured a $1,500 loan to launch a pizza take-out restaurant in Minnesota. Since pizza was so new, Totino also had to bring samples of her product to the loan committee to secure the initial financing. After the success of her take-out business, Totino launched a frozen pizza business in 1962 just as frozen foods were gaining national prominence. Totino’s business grew rapidly, and she sold it to Pillsbury in 1975 for $22 million. Totino was named the first female vice president at Pillsbury, and she was the first woman inducted in the Frozen Food Hall of Fame.