Southern Italy is the Grucci ancestral home. Angelo Lanzetta, founder and great great-grandfather to Felix Grucci, Sr., start it all in 1850. In 1870, he brought the family's pyrotechnic artistry to Elmont, Long Island, New York, entering America as an immigrant through Ellis Island.
Felix Grucci, Sr. and Concetta Grucci
at the first factory
After Angelo's death in 1899, his son, Anthony carried on the family business and in 1923 brought his nephew, Felix Grucci, Sr., to serve as an apprentice. Competition was strong, but the firework market weak. Early in the Depression, they moved their business to Miami, Florida in hope of greener pastures. But, homesick, and at the urging of the family, they returned to Bellport, New York in 1929 to continue their business.
The Grucci family at the first factory
The Depression Years were tough on the fledgling entrepreneurs. Felix, to make ends meet, worked many nights as a drummer with a local band. There he met Concetta DiDio and they were married February 4, 1940. They raised three children: James, Donna and Felix Jr. All three children entered the family business.
Over the next three decades, Felix Grucci, Sr. gained a reputation as a master of his art. He developed the stringless shell, a major landmark innovation that improved fireworks safety by eliminating burning fallout, the firework industry's greatest safety problem. Developed for the Defense Department, an atomic device simulator for troop training. Demand for firework displays, other than traditional 4th of July displays declined during the 1960's further culling the firework industry. Only the best prevailed. Their genuine friendly mannerisms and professional approach won them many loyal clients, so they prospered.
Felix Grucci, Sr.
Felix Sr. continued to build his business with the help of his wife, Concetta, and three children, into a regional clientele including New Jersey and Connecticut during the late 1960's. The nation's bicentennial celebration in 1976 was a banner year for the fireworks industry. The Grucci's received rave reviews for their first major performance out of the New York tri-state area, for the nation's 1976 bicentennial celebration with fireworks on the Charles River for Arthur Fielder's Boston Pops.
However, every entertainer has a debut to national stardom, and in 1979, the Gruccis were indelibly etched in fireworks history. The Grucci's became the first American family to win the Gold Medal for the United States at the annual Monte Carlo International Fireworks Competition beating other competitors from Denmark, France, Italy and Spain. This is revered by those in the fireworks entertainment community as the most prestigious competition in the world. The Grucci's consider this one of their greatest accomplishments, and the New York press dubbed them as "America's First Family of Fireworks".
The Grucci Family
From the Monte Carlo launching pad, the Grucci's continued their climb over the next three decades to be recognized throughout the world as the "Top Name in Fireworks Entertainment" in the world. They earned this title with fireworks for every presidential inauguration since Ronald Regan in 1981 to the present, every major casino grand opening since the Mirage in 1989 to the Wynn Macau to Sol Kerzner's Atlantis, Olympic Games, World's Fairs, and the Centennial celebrations of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty.
Phil Grucci is the current President/CEO Fireworks by Grucci, Inc. and Pyrotechnique by Grucci, Inc., the manufacturing entity of the Grucci group of companies. The Grucci family has worked tirelessly to maintain our family heritage and core values and a commitment to creating lifelong memories for all they touch. In January of 2013, the Grucci family has formally transitioned the leadership of family-run Fireworks by Grucci, Inc. to Felix (Phil) Grucci (5th generation), as Donna Grucci Butler and Felix J. Grucci, Jr. (4th generation) have retired from their day-to-day management roles as President and Executive Vice President/CFO, respectively. Felix (Phil) Grucci, the nephew of Donna and Felix Jr., and son of the late James Grucci, will continue as President/CEO to further guide the family business into the future. As the family business moves into the future and continues the business into the 6th generation, Phil Grucci looks forward to the ongoing consultation and support of his entire family. In fact, Fireworks by Grucci already actively involves the 6th generation family members that are determined to keep the Grucci legacy going; they include: Corey Grucci, Lauren Grucci and Christopher Grucci, (Phil’s nephew, daughter and son) all of whom are certified pyrotechnicians and are eager to maintain and heighten the family tradition of excellence and integrity in the art world of fireworks entertainment.