Lagomarcino’s is so much more than a longstanding Quad City attraction. It’s an American story of family and tradition that has continued for more than hundred years.
Angelo Lagomarcino journeyed from northern Italy to New York City in 1896. He worked in New York until 1902 when he returned to Italy to marry Luigia Schenone. The newly-weds returned to the United States after their marriage and settled in Burlington, Iowa. In Burlington, Angelo worked with his brother Carl, in his confectionery near the Burlington Railroad station. While in Burlington, Angelo and Luigia began their family. By 1907 the Lagomarcino’s had two children, Charlie and Mary. Their growing family made Angelo think he should strike off on his own. In early 1908 Angelo found the perfect spot to grow his business – Moline, IL.
The early years were good to Angelo and his wife. Downtown Moline was a bustling place. At one time there were no less than seven theaters within walking distance of Lagomarcino’s. After each showing, the theater patrons would come to Lagomarcino’s for delightful ice cream treats. There were Ice Cream Sodas, Malted Milks, and our special one-of-a-kind Hot Fudge Sundaes. Our customers could order fancy sundaes such as the Butter Kist Almond, Dream Daddy, Hawaiian Twilight, or a Black Cherry Banana Special. Lagomarcino’s also featured sandwiches, salads, homemade pie, and fountain drinks.Angelo and Luigia and a cousin, Joe Schenone were busy around the clock. As soon as the children were old enough they were brought into the business. In 1915 Luigia had her last child, Tom, and by 1925 he was also working in the family business. Charlie, Mary, and Tom took over the reigns of the confectionery business from their father, beginning the tradition of passing it along from generation to generation.
Son Charlie bought recipes and equipment from Meadowbrook Candy Company during the depths of the Great Depression. He and his cousin Joe Schenone perfected their candy-making skills, while Tom took charge of the ice cream. Mary played a major role too, by cooking for their luncheonette, ordering and packing candy.
Tom’s wife, Betsy and Joe’s wife, Anita came into the business upon Mary’s and Joe’s passing. Anita continued the art of candy making and Betsy grew the mail order business. Tom’s and Betsy’s daughter, Beth joined them in 1981; with Tom Jr. and their sister Lisa coming on board soon thereafter. The fourth generation is coming into the fold, and is already bringing new energy to the family legacy.
Even today our confections are made in our original copper kettle kitchen in the original Moline location, a craft even Beth’s husband Terry has mastered, right by the side of Tom Jr.
Anyone who has sat in one of our handcrafted mahogany booths while sipping on a Green River, or has undertaken the near impossible task of choosing from our selection of candies, knows at least part of the Lagomarcino’s story. Now you know the whole story, along with the love and tradition that goes into everything we do. The Lagomarcino’s story is one that will continue for at least another hundred years!
- 1896Angelo Lagomarcino arrives at Ellis Island, New York. Angelo worked in New York until 1902, when he returned to Italy to marry Luigia Schenone.
- 1902Angelo and Luigia returned to the United States to live in Burlington, Iowa. Angelo worked for his brother, Carl, in his confectionery.
- 1908Angelo Lagomarcino arrives in Moline, IL, and begins Lagomarcino’s Confectionery Company.
- The 1930sCharlie Lagomarcino acquires recipes and equipment from the Meadowbrook Candy Company. Lagomarcino’s begin making their own ice cream.
- The 1940s – 1960sAngelo’s Children: Charlie, Mary and Tom, along with their cousin Joe Schenone, continue to grow Lagomarcino’s into a Quad City institution.
- The 1970sTom’s wife, Betsy joins the family business along with their six children. Anita Schenone becomes the candy maker.
- The 1980sThree of Tom and Betsy’s children join the family business, Beth arrives first and soon is followed by Tom Jr. and sister Lisa.
- The 1990sThe fourth generation grows up working in the store.
- 1997In November, Lagomarcino’s opens their second location in The Village of East Davenport.
- 2002Beth’s husband, Terry Otten, becomes the candy maker.
- 2006Lagomarcino’s receives the James Beard America’s Classics award in New York City.
- 2008Lagomarcino’s celebrates 100 years!
- TodayThe fourth generation comes onboard and the Lagomarcino’s legacy continues.