Business Profiles

Farm living leads to new skin care line

When Gabriella Esperson married Ryan Nelson, a fourth-generation farmer from Wisconsin, the seeds were sown for a new line of skin care products. “I’ve always had a passion for animals — ever since I was a little girl,” Gabriella writes on her website. “Being married to a farmer who shares the same interests as me is a dream come true!” Ryan gave Gabriella a Mini Nubian goat for their second anniversary. One animal became a small herd, and Gabriella soon found herself wondering what to do with the surplus milk being produced. Internet research led to the founding of Down …

Read More »

Meet Perillo Tour’s Midwest Rep, Mina Amendola

Mina Amendola has vivid memories of travelling as a child with her family to their charming ancestral hometown of Altomonte, Cosenza in Calabria. In those early journeys, the die was cast. “I always felt connected to Italy, and I knew that I wanted to spend my career helping others make those same connections,” the Midwest Director of Sales and Marketing for Perillo Tours explains. As the public face of the Italian Government Travel Office for more than two decades, she dedicated herself to building bridges between the USA and the land of her ancestors. Through her work, she had plenty …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

Frankie’s Deli

  Frankie’s Deli has had a lot to celebrate lately. The venerable Italian food emporium marked its 50th anniversary with a five-day culinary extravaganza in late November that culminated in a visit from Italian Senator Renato Turano. “My family has been doing business with Turano Baking Co. for half a century and it was important for us to make them a part of our celebration,” says Frank Conforti Jr., son of company founders Frank Sr. and Connie. “We were truly honored that Senator Turano flew all the way in from Italy to join us!” As icing on the birthday cake, …

Read More »

Alfa Romeo & FIAT of Chicago

The FIAT 500 has been popping up everywhere lately, and it’s turning heads wherever it goes. As agile and sexy as it is economical and eco-friendly, it may be the perfect city car. And it has that inimitable sense of style that every Italian possesses and every American craves. “You can buy something cheap and small for $16,000, or you can buy something that has Italian heritage and style,” says Carmelo Scalzo, vice president of FIAT of Chicago. “With the FIAT 500, you get the best of all worlds. It’s affordable, it’s great on gas and it has that special …

Read More »

CARSTAR Scola’s Collision Center

It’s not unusual to hear business owners boast that they’re the best. But it’s another matter entirely to prove it as Luigi and Anthony Scola have done — winning an award in June for the nation’s best CARSTAR auto repair franchise. “It was a real surprise when it happened,” says Luigi Scola, who co-owns CARSTAR Scola’s Collision Center in Brookfield with his brother Anthony. “We go to the CARSTAR conference every year, and there are 440 nationwide stores. It makes us feel very prestigious and very proud that we won it.” Franchisee of the Year is the highest award in …

Read More »

Cumberland Chapels

When driving east on the Kennedy Expressway, it doesn’t take much to pass up Norridge without noticing it. A town of less than 15,000, Norridge was incorporated in 1948 and is almost completely surrounded by Chicago. It is a town made up largely of European immigrants, first- and second-generation Italians and Polish, hard-working people who take care of their families and each other. It might be easy to miss Norridge if you’re not looking for it, but there is no missing what has been happening on Lawrence Avenue just east of Cumberland Avenue for nearly 30 years. When Cumberland Chapels …

Read More »

Elevator Inspection Services

When Anthony DiBiase and Frank Cervone bought an existing elevator inspection business in 2002, little did they know they’d shoot straight to the top floor of their field. Today Elevator Inspection Services Co., Inc. in Burr Ridge handles a combined 8,000 inspections a year in Chicago and the surrounding municipalities. To put it in perspective, that’s an average of 22 elevators a day, with the safety of millions riding on the work these men and their team do, day in and day out. “In the past 11 years, we have grown the business by 75 percent,” says DiBiase, whose parents …

Read More »

V. Formusa Co.

It’s not that far from 710 W. Grand Ave. in Chicago — where V. Formusa Co. opened its doors in 1898 — to 2150 Oxford Road in Des Plaines, where the company relocated. That the move took more than a century to make is a testament to the dedication and vision of the four generations that have run the oldest Italian food importer in the Chicago area. “It was hard to leave the old factory,” Vice President Sue Formusa Johnson admits. “It’s one of the oldest buildings in the city, we had relatives who were born upstairs, and it was …

Read More »

Montclair-Lucania Funeral Home

In 1933, a pair of young Sicilian brothers — the oldest not even 21 — decided to start a business, unaware they’d create a legacy as well, and touch countless Italian Americans in the Chicago area. Vincent and Joseph Lucania opened their first funeral home in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood at 409 W. North Ave. The business grew, and Vincent moved west in the 1950s, following the migration of other Italian Americans to the area. He opened Montclair-Lucania Funeral Home’s current location at 6901 W. Belmont Ave. in 1957, and there it stayed. The venerable funeral home marked its 80th …

Read More »

Want More?

Subscribe to our print magazine
or give it as a gift.

Click here for details