Anyone who vacations at the Jersey Shore has made the pilgrimage to Maruca’s Tomato Pies, a staple of the Seaside Heights boardwalk since the 1950s.
The family owned and operated pizzeria suffered a major setback in 2012 when it was ravaged by Hurricane Sandy, and again the year after when it was decimated by a fire that claimed a number of boardwalk businesses. Both times, the family sprung back from adversity and reopened the business to the delight of their customers.
Now we have news that the Maruca family has suffered a far more personal tragedy: This past weekend, 23-year old Anthony Maruca, who had been coping with severe food allergies, suffered a reaction and passed away suddenly from anaphylactic shock.
The following was posted to their Facebook page:
It is with deep sadness and an extremely broken heart we inform you of the passing of our beloved Anthony Maruca. We were blessed to have him for 23 wonderful and amazing years. Our family is asking for time to grieve the loss of our loving, funny, smart, kind and bighearted Anthony.
We have a bit more information gleaned from a friend’s daughter who grew up and graduated with Anthony. We understand he was in the Boston area starting a new job after graduating from college, where he ingested an allergen while eating at a local restaurant.
Our hearts go out to the Maruca family whose pizzeria we have visited many times over the course of some 40 years. We offer our sincere condolences for their loss and wish them much strength in the days to come.
Once again, we urge our readers with food allergies to be extra careful when dining out. We remind you that it’s always best to avoid establishments where your allergens of concern are routinely used in the kitchen.