Rocky Rococo pizza co-founder dies at 70

Rocky Rococo pizza co-founder dies at 70

The man who co-founded a Madison-based pizza chain more than four decades ago has died, the company said Wednesday.

Wayne Mosley, co-founder of Rocky Rococo Restaurants, and vice president of First Madco Inc. died in his home on Tuesday, according to a news release. He was 70 years old.

Rocky’s co-founder Roger Brown said the company’s vision and drive came from Mosley.

“It was Wayne’s dream to create Rocky Rococo Pan Style Pizza restaurants,” Brown said in the release.

Mosley and Brown met as students at the University of Illinois in 1973. Mosley was a law student at the time but dreamed of opening a chain of pizzerias featuring pizza by the slice. They opened the first Rocky Rococo Pan Style Pizza location at 411 West Gilman St. in Madison in 1974.

Within 12 years, the company expanded to more than 120 restaurants across the United States, the company said. In 1988, Mosley and Brown sold their rights to the company brand to their partners. Mosley continued to operate Rocky Rococo restaurants in Madison, La Crosse and the Wisconsin Dells.

“Wayne will be remembered for his off the wall ad campaigns, his deep devotion to the brand, and his affection for his customers.”, Brown said.

James Martin Pedersen, who portrayed Rocky Rococo for the chain, died in February 2016 .