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The Original Nutman Natale "Frank" Ferro
"The Nutman"

The Original Nutman

The original nutman Natale “Frank” Ferro was born December 24th, 1882 in Borgo Partenope near Cosenza, Calabria, Italy. Being born so near Christmas his parents named him Natale, since Natale is Italian for Christmas.

Frank was 18 years old when he came to the United States. He got a job in a factory in Trenton, New Jersey and became known as Frank. Frank married Nancy Viteritto on January 26, 1903 in Trenton, New Jersey. They had eight children: Elizabeth, Ernest, Mary, Michael, James, Virginia, Mildred and Joseph. Frank and Nancy lived in Trenton, New Jersey and Hudson, Michigan before moving to Elkhart, Indiana around 1920. Their family and others lovingly called Frank, Pampa and Nancy was Nanny.

Pampa started his nut roasting business around 1940. Pampa had several nut shops throughout Elkhart, Indiana. They were located on South Main Street, East Jackson Street, Main Street and his last shop was in his garage at his home on Romain Street. The shop on Main Street was attached to the Elco Theater and provided nuts, popcorn and Carmel corn to theatergoers, before the theater owners realized what they were missing.

Natale “Frank” Ferro left us on June 26th, 1965. Before his passing, Pampa passed on his roasting secrets to his children and grandchildren. Several Ferro’s roast nuts including the current NutMan, Michael L. Ferro.