In 1932, the two (2) Scalea [pronounced Sca-lay] sisters, Mary (21), and Lena (32) started prepping & baking the historic tomato pies, using their family recipe, a repetitive process, and a work ethic that was second to none. From those creamy mounds of dough, to the tangy & sweet plum tomatoes, what emerged from the ovens situated at 5161 Wakefield Street (pictured) was a culinary phenomenon that earned a deserved cult following. The tomato pies continue to convert patrons from customers to fans!
Mary & Lena Scalea had an idea, and with the full support of Lena’s husband, Ralph; their venture was soon on the road to success. They used only the best ingredients, never cut corners, and always put their customers first. In 1975, their tomato pies were transferred from Germantown to Rhawnhurst at 7616 Castor Avenue, under the ownership of a relative, bearing the surname of Gaeta. Gaeta’s has had a couple owners since the mid-70’s, and each owner has respectfully paid homage to the Scalea Sisters, and honored their family with the same tomato pies that generations have grown to love.
In May of 2022, the Straface Family (Frank Sr. & Gene) passed the baton to two (2) bakers who originally cut their teeth in the Holmesburg section of Northeast Philadelphia, amid the glow of the coal-fired, brick oven at DePalma’s Bakery. As teenagers in high school, Bryan Kane & Pete McDermott were among dozens of kids who learned the craft under the wing of Lou Mosca, Sr., and the father-son team of Marty Ryan, Sr. & Jr. Today, Bryan & Pete still massage those football-sized
mounds of dough into the corners & edges of those same black, seasoned, steel rectangular pans. Their commitment to the highest quality products, their attention to detail, and a laser focus on customer satisfaction; has laid the foundation for decades of spectacular Tomato Pies, and Italian Baked Goods.
Gaeta’s offers the same flavorful, pan-baked Tomato Pies, delectable Stuffed Breads / Stromboli in a variety of savory combinations, & Round Traditional Pizzas that boast an artisan crust, high quality rich-red tomatoes, and handfuls of select cheese which is cut to a specific dimension, allowing the heat to bring out that full flavor.