Philly Block Project

Continuing the Essig’s Culinary Legacy

Frances and Heriberto Rosa are the owners of Rosa’s Deli at 441 W. Girard Avenue. Until 1974, however, the property was a pretzel bakery belonging to Mr. Essig, pictured in the center of this photograph.

As the only two families to ever own the property, the Essigs and Rosas have developed an unspoken connection. A while back, Mr. Essig’s daughter visited the deli and years of memories came flooding back. Bursting into tears of joy, she thanked the Rosas for keeping the business in great shape, and mailed them this photo of her father.

Taken around 1920,  Mr. Essig is pictured standing over the salt in the basement’s pretzel oven.

“You can imagine how hot it got in the summer,” said Frances, who has continued the bakery’s pretzel-making tradition.

Read more about Rosa’s from Philly Phoodie.