It Started with Papa of “MAMA’S Income Tax Services”
by Cate Murway
“If Big Mama can’t do it… nobody can!”
While many a family business tends to resemble fireflies,
flickering brightly for a brief moment, then dying away,
“MAMA’S Income Tax Services” has been passed down,
revived, and reinvented and continues to thrive and flourish
for second and third generations.
The Mama family has a lot of pride in their father's,
yet they are unusual in the business world, for their modesty.
They are quick to credit the hard work of their previous generation
yet speak humbly of their own contributions.
This is incredibly refreshing in our modern gilded age.
Then again, this family is about a lot more than
just material success.
They have a powerful sense of duty
both to the past and to the future.
"Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”
- Michael Jordan
Mama's Income Tax Services has grown into a dynamic presence in the income tax service industry. Jenny Maria Mama, BHS ’73 and Mary Jo Mama-Farr, BHS ’77 exist to meet the needs of their clients by providing personalized tax services with the highest quality and integrity. They aim for and reach superior, measurable standards of quality with every service they provide. Their clients regard them not only as leaders in the world of income tax problem solving, but also as trusted friends and allies; as partners in the pursuit of their financial dreams. Jenny and Mary Jo realize the importance of integrity in how they conduct their lives and run their business and make their decisions.
Their services do not end when you walk outside their door! MAMA’S office is open year-round, from 9 to 9 during tax season, and Jenny and Mary Jo are also available by appointment at any time. They are always accessible for questions or information.
Their service is distinguished by close personal attention to your tax preparation, always meeting and exceeding the needs and expectations of their customers through targeted, personalized communications. They have never advertised.
“They love it and they’re good at it and they’re personable”, their dad beamed.
The business that personalizes customer service gains customers who come back.
The Mama family is preparing the 4th generation taxes for their clients.
"I hear babies crying I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll ever know
And I think to myself:
What a wonderful world!"
MAMA’S Income Tax Service specializes in
Tax Return Preparation for Individuals and
Small Business and is owned and operated by
the Mama Family.
Mary Jo [named for her maternal grandparents
Mary and Joseph Farruggio] has moved back
into Bristol to help her dad, Anthony Mama, Jr.,
the business comptroller, who established and maintains their organization's accounting system.
Anthony was born in Wagner’s Hospital on Radcliffe Street and has resided on Farragut Avenue since 1958.
He was a BHS basketball and track athlete, participating in the high jump and he proudly recalls never being beaten in the mile.
“The ‘funnest’ times were putting on roller skates and skating down to Mill Street for pizza at the Bristol House. A favorite thing was going to the Grand Theatre and then to Fields’ for hotdogs and Pappajian’s for ice cream.”
The Tank commander Corporal graduated in 1955 from Rider with a B.S. in commerce, taking many tax courses, using the G.I. Bill for college educational opportunities, the official title being the "Servicemen's Readjustment Act". His first business after a short time working at Fleetwings, was MAMA’S Real Estate on Mill Street and he assisted many of his clients with their tax prep in his own home and taught classes in the Neshaminy and Palisades school districts. He worked for HUD from 1969-1989 and was responsible for grants, doing his part to assure that the monies were allocated to Bucks County.
Up until 1992, Tony rented several different Borough locations to do taxes, prior to purchasing their current property from the IRS. This “Friday's child is loving and giving” and he has devotedly shared his skills and abilities to operate a business with great efficiency with his daughters. Jenny started helping her dad as a young child by putting together the filing papers with the carbon paper and neither she nor Mary Jo ever remember their dad using an adding machine. “He’s really smart!”
Anthony’s parents Jennie [Vodarski] and Russian born Anthony Mama, Sr. who worked at the tanning leather factory where Columbia Lighting is now located, raised Anthony and his siblings, his sisters Irene and Patricia “Patsy” and the late Ronald, Stella, Eleanor, and Florence “Flossie” here in Bristol.
“She was seven years younger than me, a beautiful girl. She was my first secretary and
made sure everyone had the coffee and donuts. I fired her at least eight times but she wouldn’t leave!”
Older daughter, Jenny keeps everyone laughing, even in the tax office. She is bright and articulate and she “spoke at a convention and brought 1500 people to their feet”!
Jenny feels blessed that she has inherited her “mother’s guts and her father’s brains” [he is an avid reader].
“They were such a driving force behind us and we are a success because my mother believed in us.”
She was the first girl to try out for the Little League team and she played basketball and was a potent softball catcher and pitcher. Jenny also loved being in the choir but the singing director suggested that she “start humming and don’t hum too loud!”
St. Ann School taught her to be a terrific saleswoman. “We had a ‘drive’ for everything and I won every candy drive.” Her prize of a green Schwinn bike still claims a spot in her parents’ basement to this day.
Jenny belongs to the Chamber of Commerce and the Parrot Head Club "party with a purpose," participating in fundraising events for non-profits, such as the Diakonia homeless shelter in West Ocean City.
Her sister, BHS basketball, softball and hockey athlete, Mary Jo is “the most incredible lady”. She and her husband, Marine Corps Captain/retired Navy Captain Steven M. Farr, a 22-year military officer pilot, met while they were students at Lock Haven University.
Their pride and joy are their three children, Salisbury University grads, “Sea Wolf” captain Joshua Patrick Farr and Matthew Steven Farr, ESQ, and Jenna Marie, VJM ‘09/ U. of DE.
Josh works with his godmother, Aunt Jenny in their Maryland MAMA’S Tax Service business
and has had many stints on the cover of the weekly Coastal Fisherman newspaper.
He holds the state record for shark fishing in Maryland’s “White Marlin Open”, the world's largest billfish tournament. Josh’s son, Mason Joshua
[has his grandmother’s initials] keeps MJ smiling!
She is really involved with her children; “loves the beach, loves the ocean and boating and fishing with her sons”. They owned Bay Sports- Jet Ski & paraSailing for thrilling watersport entertainment and both sons swan in college.
Mary Jo works along with Jenny in their MAMA’S Maryland office and they both are Layton Associates realtors in Ocean City.
With their personalized customer service that permeates the entire MAMA’S organizations, they distinguish their companies. The trio fills a genuine, existing need that customers always have, making the work of the customer better in a cost-effective way. “It’s not about the money; it’s about the people!”
They “love Bristol, the safe small town where they know everyone and keep the same friends since kindergarten; the roots- made them who they are.”
A favorite eating place is “Cesare’s Italian Specialties Ristorante” [the closest thing to home cooking!], “Everything is good there; everything is delicious”.
Tony is a Bristol Senior Athletic Association member. The BSAA mission is to mobilize alumni athletes to reinvest in their community and their alma mater and he continues to support them financially and assists with the golf tournaments. “Easy” Mama [dubbed by his dad for his constant reminders of how Tony should use the saw when cutting firewood] also belongs to the Loyal Order of the Moose, the fraternal and service organization founded in 1888. He was a member of the Optimist Club, participating in positive service projects in the community aimed at providing a helping hand to youth.
“The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying "How do you do."
They really say: "I love you!"
[italized Louis Armstrong’s “What A Wonderful World” lyrics, a favorite of Jenny’s]
MAMA’S Income Tax Services
400 Dorrance Street
Bristol, P 19007
Recommend a “spotlight”: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
July 5, 2010 2:51 AM
sister of the late Joan Genevieve “Jennie” [Farruggio] Mama, BHS ‘54
Carmella F. (Farruggio) Gervasio, of Bristol Township and Doylestown, passed away peacefully at home, Friday, July 2, 2010, surrounded by her loving family.
She was the beloved wife of the late Frank J. Gervasio.
Born in Bristol, she was previously a member of Immaculate Conception Church in Levittown, and most recently, a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Doylestown.
She was a wonderful mother, homemaker, and good friend to all. She also was the former business owner/operator of Dominic's Pizza Restaurant in Holland.
In her retirement, Carmella happily traveled to Arizona, California, and Europe to visit her children and grandchildren who lived away. She also always looked forward to her relaxing summers in Ocean City, Md.
Carmella was the loving mother of daughters, Phyllis Smith (Patrick) and Francine Gervasio of Doylestown, Mary-Jo Overwater (Arjan) of the Netherlands, and son, Dominic Gervasio of Fountainhills, Ariz. She was also the proud and loving grandmother of R. Patrick, Frankie, Sean, Malisa, Kimberly, Francesca, and Sophie; and devoted aunt to many nieces and nephews. She was the loving sister of Angelina Marino (Nicholas), Eva Passanante (John), Dora Stampone (Joseph), and Joseph Farruggio of Bristol. She was preceded in death by her mother and father, Giuseppe and Mary Farruggio, younger sister, Jenny Mama (Anthony); brother Anthony and wife, Margie Farruggio, and Samuel Farruggio (Madeline).
In addition, she enjoyed life with her sisters- and brothers-in-law of Trenton, N.J., Josephine and Joseph Landolfi, Rosalie and Carmen Gervasio, Sue and James Migliacci and Angelo Gervasio.
Family and friends are invited to Carmella's life celebration at 10 a.m Wednesday, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church, 235 E. State St., Doylestown, where her funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Interment will take place at the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Ferry Road, Doylestown.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Wood Clinic Cancer Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, 34th & Civic Center Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19104, would be appreciated by the family. Leaver Cable Funeral Home,
Anthony 'Easy' Mama Jr.
Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 4:00 am
Anthony 'Easy' Mama Jr., passed away peacefully Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013,
surrounded by his loving family. He was 84.
Born and raised in Bristol Borough, he was the founder of Mama's Tax Service
in Bristol. He was a graduate of Rider College where he received a B.S. degree
in Commerce, and Bristol High School where he excelled in athletics.
He was a U.S. Army Korean War Veteran who was stationed in Germany.
In his earlier years, he owned and operated Mama's Real Estate & Insurance
in Bristol Borough. He taught business courses in the Palisades and Neshaminy
school districts. Later, he owned and operated HARR Beverages in Quakertown;
eventually retiring from the Federal Government as Director of Housing
& Urban Development. Tony was also very instrumental in the development of the Grundy Towers in Bristol Borough.
Easy was a member of the 5th Ward Italian Mutual Aid, the Moose, St. Ann Athletic Association, S.A.G.A, and the Bristol Athletic Association. Easy was an easy-going consummate businessman and gentleman who helped many and was loved by all. He enjoyed golfing, fishing, boating, and playing cards; but most of all he loved spending time with his family.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 49 years, Jennie (Farruggio) Mama; his brother, Ronnie; his sisters, Stella Tronser, Eleanor Schell, Florence Schell, and Patricia Grafenstein. He will be greatly missed by his daughters, Jennie Mama of Ocean City, Md., and Mary Jo Mama-Farr of Bristol Borough; and his grandchildren, that he adored, Joshua Farr, Mathew Farr Esq., and Jenna M. Farr and their father Steven M. Farr; and great grandson, Mason J. Farr. He also is survived by his sister, Irene Morris; his sisters-in-law, Eva Passanante and Dora Stampone; and brother-in-law, Joseph Farruggio Jr.; and many nieces, and nephews.
Relatives and friends are invited to call from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, and from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Thursday, at the Galzerano Funeral Home, 430 Radcliffe Street, Bristol. Funeral Mass will be celebrated 10 a.m. on Thursday at St. Ann Church. Interment will follow in St. Mark Cemetery.
The family requests memorial contributions in his name be made to St. Ann Church, 357 Dorrance St., Bristol, PA 19007. Galzerano Funeral Home Bristol