World Market dramatically expands its Italian offerings

World Market will feature retail items from across Italy, including a host of gourmet Italian food products, as part of a dramatic expansion facilitated by the Italian government. The chain of specialty/import retail stores launched its Italian Shop with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Aug. 18 at World Market Lincoln Park, 1623 N. Sheffield Ave., Chicago. The ceremony was followed by an open house until 7 p.m. that includes a coffee-and-cookie sampling from 10 a.m. to noon and food tasting event and raffle drawing from 4 to 7 p.m. (312-587-8037) The expansion and open house were made possible with the assistance …

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Amari & Locallo continue to excel in their field

The law firm of Amari & Locallo has once again received high marks from their peers in the field of real estate tax reduction. Partners Leonard Amari and John Locallo were voted the top real estate tax lawyers in Illinois in the 2022 edition of Super Lawyer magazine, and associate attorney Vincent Oppedisano was recognized as a “Rising Star” in the field. Last year, Amari was ranked by Leading Lawyer magazine as the No. 3 lawyer in the state in the real estate tax field, and Locallo was ranked No. 9. Both Amari and Locallo were rated “The Midwest’s Top …

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JCCIA rallies local Italian dining community

It’s no secret that dining establishments have taken a beating during the pandemic, losing customers and incurring additional costs that have threatened their very existence. The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans is doing its part to shore up the industry by forming the Scappi Society of Italian Culinary Culture. Named after Renaissance cookbook author Bartolomeo Scappi, the initiative aims to unite owners of Italian restaurants, pizzerias, delis, bakeries, coffee shops, banquet halls, and food producers and distributors in common cause. “The society will serve as a think tank and marketing hub for members,” JCCIA president Ron Onesti explains. ( …

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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 …

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Tony’s opens new store in Round Lake Beach

Tony’s Fresh Market recently opened a store at 965 Rollins Road in Round Lake Beach, bringing the number of outlets in the grocery chain to 17. The company’s holdings include a warehouse and corporate headquarters in Itasca. The Round Lake Beach location is the chain’s first in Lake County. The business was founded in 1979 by Tony Ingraffia and his uncle, Domenico Gambino, both of whom were born in the small Sicilian town of Ciminna. For the rest of the story, turn to pages 60 and 61.

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Arezzo Jewelers finds a new home on North Ave.

After 20 years at its expansive space on Harlem Avenue near Belmont in Chicago, Arezzo Jewelers has found a perfect fit at its new location on North Avenue in Elmwood Park. “We needed an update, and we found out that it was easier in the long run to create a new space for ourselves,” says Michael Spilotro, who co-owns the jewelry store with his wife, Jeannie. The move also ushers in a greater role for the Spilotros’ son, Vincent. With a graduate gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America and an apprenticeship with a master jeweler under his belt, …

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Business is a family affair at Spizzico

Entering its 25th year of operation, Spizzico Pizza & Pasta was at a crossroads. With a host of options available to the owners of the Elmwood Park dining landmark, the path forward was nevertheless clear: Keep it in the family. “We’ve been in business since 1996,” co-owner Rocco Spizziri says. “My parents (Tito Sr. and Edvige) had this building on North Avenue, and when my brother (Tito Jr.) asked if he could put in a pizza place there, my dad let him.” Thus, Spizziri Company, aka Spizzico, was born. Known for its double crust pizza and other casual Italian fare, …

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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 …

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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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Bill Conforti returns to his roots

by Michael Solarz Here is proof that what goes around comes around. For nearly three decades, Bill Conforti made 3066 to 3070 N. Clybourn Ave. the home of Siding-1, Windows-1, and Cobblestone Development. After Siding-1, Windows-1, was sold in 2012, the property was redeveloped in 2015 and is now the new showroom and headquarters of Cobblestone Development. Conforti’s Cobblestone Development is focused in two areas: exterior home improvement such as windows, siding, porches, and decks. Also, renovations including kitchen, baths, basements, and additions are offered. Bill also offers his Mission Statement: “Cobblestone Development, Inc. is Chicagoland’s premier provider of quality …

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