Restaurant Operator - Central Café
|Born:||September 28, 1901, Colfax, Louisiana|
|Died:||April 15, 1963, Huntsville, Alabama|
|Buried:||Maple Hill Cemetery, Huntsville, Alabama|
• Married: Carrie Helen Cicero, May 21,1930, in Huntsville. - Email
• Children: Samuel J. Tumminello, III. - Email
• Member of the Alabama State Restaurant Association. - Email
• Member of the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce. - Email
• Member of the Huntsville Elks Lodge No. 1648. - Email
• Member of the AUSA (Association of the United States Army). - Email
• Member of the Alabama Policeman's Association. - Email
• Member of the "Fishing Club of America". - Email
• Sam operated the famous Central Café located on Clinton Avenue between Johnson and Mahoney Men's Ware and The Crystal Drugstore.
After coming to Huntsville in about 1922, he worked for his father in the seafood business and as a traveling salesman of foodstuffs. Later, he began his own wholesale food business and was the first in Huntsville to have commercial food refrigeration; however, during the depression years the business failed.
The Central Café was noted for its fine foods and in particular the delicious coffee produced in its large gas-fired coffee urn. In the 1950s it was the coffee that caused many of the city planners to meet almost daily to discuss the affairs of the city. Louis Tumminello, Sam´s brother and owner of the café, was on the city planning commission. Huntsville Mayor R. B. (Spec) Searcy was often seen walking between City Hall and the Central Café with his coffee cup in hand. For years, the café had no lock on the two “half-moon” swinging doors. Also for many years, it operated twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week for nearly forty years. Sam operated the business until his death in 1963.
During his time as manager of the Central, Sam also entered into a partnership with his brother-in-law, Sam Cicero, to open "The Little Farm," a business located on Fifth Avenue (now Governors Drive) adjacent to the then L & N railroad crossing and across from the present day First Baptist Church. The store specialized in fresh local produce. Spruce Christmas trees were imported and sold during the Christmas season. In the 1950s, the business was relocated to Madison Street adjacent to Roper´s Florist and a restaurant was added. The business name changed to "The Little Farm Grill." It was open from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m., specializing in breakfast and lunch, serving city workers, politicians and people working in the medical district. Sam Tumminello´s interest in the business was sold after he died. - EmailRelated Links:
• Email - Email from Sam Tumminello, III, June 2, 2014.
• Great Elks - Great Elks in Madison County?? You Better Believe It!! A History of Madison County, Alabama, Elkdom, by James Record, 1972, pages 51, 88.
• Heritage - The Heritage of Madison County, Alabama, pages 454-455.
• Mighty Fortress - Mighty Fortress of Faith, pages 161, 305-306.