Business Beat

Pan American Bank & Trust Helps Everyone Dream Bigger

The following article was provided by Pan American Bank & Trust. At a time when many community banks have been forced to merge or be acquired, Pan American Bank & Trust has emerged as a true story of tenacity and dedication. By putting their clients, communities, and employees at the heart of what they do, bank leadership has charted a course toward long-term independence and success. Pan American Bank & Trust has always embodied the true meaning of business and community banking. “We’re living proof that, with hard work, a clear vision, and solid ethics, anything is possible,” says bank …

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Retail activists Joe and Melissa Basilone

Not long after moving from Chicago’s Ukrainian Village neighborhood to Portage Park in the Far Northwest Side of the city in 2007, Joe and Melissa Basilone found themselves constantly returning to their old neighborhood for things to do. “We didn’t realize when we moved that there was nothing to do. The neighborhood has beautiful homes and is a great area, but there was nothing to do,” Basilone said. “We always found ourselves getting in the car and driving to our old neighborhood. Finally, I said ‘There is something wrong with this.’ It took us a few years to realize that …

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Gabe Caporale hailed as realty royalty

Gabe Caporale of Caporale Realty Group in Elmwood Park recently earned the status of Realtor Emeritus from the National Association of Realtor. The distinction is bestowed upon Realtors who have maintained membership in national, state and local realty associations for four decades or more. A 45-year veteran of the industry, Caporale grew up on Taylor Street in Chicago and moved with his family to Elmwood Park in 1963. He graduated from St. Mel High School and attended Triton College for two years, completing his undergraduate career with a degree in marketing from Northern Illinois University in 1971. Seeking work in …

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Ivana Di Piero Hair Studio celebrates 25th anniversary

  Ivana Di Piero Hair Studio in Norridge recently celebrated a quarter century of making life more beautiful for customers and community alike. Born in Italy and a resident of the Chicago area since the age of 2, Di Piero was raised in Norridge since the age of 9. She graduated from John V. Leigh School and Ridgewood High School, where she took the cosmetology class that launched her career. Di Piero opened for business on Aug. 21, 1991, thanks to her husband, Frank, who came home with the lease and said, “Here’s your shop.” The couple bought the property …

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Mobile pizzaiuolo Gianni Gallucci

It’s been more than a century and countless pies since Raffaele Esposito popularized pizza as we know it today in 1889. His pizzeria is still open in Naples. And Gianni Gallucci, owner of the Chicago area’s Zero Ottantuno Mobile Pizzeria Napoletana, has worked hard to master that region’s style. “I’ve been making pizza professionally for more 10 years now and suddenly decided to do the unthinkable: I went back to school,” Gallucci says. In 2013, he attended the Academy of Pizza, a school hosted by the Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani, and earned his APN certification: as in, really earned it. “Everyday …

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La Mozzarella: Not a choice. A privilege.

You haven’t lived until you’ve tasted true Mozzarella di Bufala. Just ask Lara Postiglione. “This isn’t your garden variety mozzarella,” she asserts. “It’s a protected trade name in Italy that applies only to cheese made from the milk of water buffaloes raised in the Campania and Lazio regions of Italy and produced to very exacting standards.” Lara first experienced this sublime dairy product while teaching English as a second language in the Port of Naples. It was a life-changing experience. “It was the most amazing thing I had ever tasted,” she recalls with unabated delight. “I was absolutely crazy about …

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Volpi: Patience and passion since 1902

In business, when time-honored traditions blend with new technologies, innovative products and fresh ideas, consumers win and companies thrive. That’s the secret behind the success of Volpi Foods Inc., which has dramatically modernized its processes and diversified its offerings while staying true to the values that have sustained it for more than a century. Established in St. Louis in 1902, Volpi is now headed by Lorenza Pasetti, great-niece of company founder Giovanni Volpi and the third generation of her family to produce authentic Italian meat products from distinctive Old World recipes. “Like my father and great uncles before me, I …

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Cobblestone Development carries on a decades-old tradition

by Sheldon Shacket “What ever happened to that Siding-1 building on the corner of Oakley and Clybourn?” Ask its founder, Bill Conforti, and his response will go well beyond the matter-of-fact. As he stands across the street from the demolished 3066 N. Clybourn Ave. construction site, Bill becomes more than a little emotional when reminiscing about the 28 years he spent developing his Siding-1, Windows-1 Exterior business and constructing the company’s headquarters on that site. As a supplement to the higher volume siding and windows business, Conforti had also opened Cobblestone Development in the building next door. “I actually formed …

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Alta Villa Banquets

What’s the secret sauce that makes Alta Villa Banquets of Addison such a success? From a culinary standpoint, you could start by noting that all the food, from sausages and soups to pastas and pizzas, is made fresh on the premises. You could also look at the long history Alta Villa has enjoyed serving Chicagoland’s Italian-American community and the many special events it has catered for the area’s unions. (It recently hosted the 100th anniversary of the Cement Mason’s Union Local No. 502, attended by Gov. Pat Quinn and more than 700 guests.) But even if you consider all that, …

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Angelo Caputo’s Fresh Markets (Carol Stream)

The steady growth of Angelo Caputo’s Fresh Markets is a success story that every Italian American can be proud of. Launched in 1958 as a bustling produce emporium at the corner of Harlem and Wrightwood in Elmwood Park, the enterprise has blossomed over the decades into a mini-empire that extends across the Chicago area. Full-service grocery stores in Addison, Bloomingdale, Downers Grove, Elmwood Park, Hanover Park, Naperville/Plainfield and South Elgin operate in concert with the company’s expansive new warehouse, production facility and corporate headquarters in Carol Stream. Nestled next door is the crown jewel of the company’s retail domain: a …

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