Food Profiles

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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Angelo Caputo’s Fresh Markets (Corporate)

Driving down North Avenue through Carol Stream, you can’t help but notice the new corporate headquarters of Angelo Caputo’s Fresh Markets. Dazzling white, with a few well-chosen details, its ultramodern facade stretches for nearly a quarter of a mile west of Schmale Road. That positive impression is reinforced in the soaring two-story lobby with its curving staircase and earth-tone walls accented with contemporary renderings of Corinthian columns. And there are homey touches, too: family photos of founders Angelo and Romana Caputo from the 1950s, a colorful cornucopia enshrined on a table that echoes the company logo, and the heady aroma …

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Joe Caputo & Sons

For a business to survive for a quarter century, the owners must be doing something right. To blossom, as Joe Caputo & Sons has, from a 10,000-square-foot corner market to a chain of three stores covering 140,000 square feet, that’s another level of success altogether. What’s their secret? “Great quality,” Joe Caputo notes. “Great value,” older son Nat chimes in. “Great service,” younger son Vito adds. The Caputo saga actually began more than a century ago in Mola di Bari, where Joe’s parents, Natale and Caterina, ran a grocery store. When his father came to America to pave the way …

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Gonnella Baking Co.

by Ernie Grzeca “We Bake To Differ.” Not just a catchy slogan but also a real commitment by five generations of the Gonnella and Marcucci families. “At Gonnella Baking Co., we care about our product. It’s the quality. It’s the freshness. It’s the texture, the aroma and the crispiness. No detail is too small for our bakers not to fret over,” a company spokesperson says. “Our customers appreciate the combination of Old-World quality at a very competitive price.” That Old-World quality began in 1886 when Alessandro Gonnella came to the United States looking to fulfill the American Dream. He bought …

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Roberto’s Ristorante & Pizzeria

It’s a long way from the cobblestone streets of Altavilla Milicia to Chicagoland’s bustling west suburban restaurant scene. But there’s nothing you can’t accomplish when you have family by your side. Just ask Vito and Marianna Moreci and their son and daughter, Pasquale and Rosalia. Working shoulder to shoulder for nearly three decades, they have transformed Roberto’s in Elmhurst from a tiny pizzeria into a bastion of fine Italian dining. Their saga begins on the northern coast of Sicily, where Vito Moreci and Marianna Bucaro were born and raised. Childhood sweethearts, they were married in Italy before coming to America …

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Spacca Napoli Pizzeria

You could say that fate led Jonathan Goldsmith to open Spacca Napoli Pizzeria, and transform himself into one of America’s most passionate proponents of Neapolitan-style pizza. Or you could say that chance favors the prepared mind. A clinical social worker with a degree from the University of Chicago, Goldsmith was living and working in Florence in the 1980s while his wife, Ginny, was going to art school, and he was absolutely loving it. When the couple returned to the Windy City with their young daughter, Sarah, he felt he had left a part of his soul behind. The couple bought …

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Serrelli’s Finer Foods

As you walk up to the gleaming new storefront on North Avenue in Galewood, a large automatic sliding door sweeps open and you hear, “Welcome to Serrelli’s. It’s our grand re-opening today.” And grand it truly is. For nearly 80 years, Serrelli’s Finer Foods has been a grand name in the industry that’s guaranteed to bring a smile. From the first grocery store that Louis Serrelli opened at Western and Huron in 1934, the Serrelli family has been all about great products and friendly service. “When my grandfather came over from Calabria in the 1930s, he had the philosophy that …

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Turano Baking Co.

by Jim DiStasio, Joe Stella and Paul Basile Even though the Turano Baking Co. is one of the largest bread makers in the nation, its heart still beats with the warmth and generosity of a small family business. For the last half century, La Famiglia Turano has steadily built a world-class company firmly rooted in values that can be traced to its founder. Launched in a storefront shop in Chicago in 1962 by Mariano Turano, the company has blossomed under the stewardship of sons Renato, Tony and Giancarlo into a national powerhouse with more than 750 employees who create more …

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Affresco Pizzeria & Ristorante

Sergio Lazzara is proud to be Italian, of course, but he takes a special pride in his Sicilian heritage. “If you ask for directions in Rome, folks are friendly and efficient. You’re on your way in a minute or two,” he explains. “In Sicily, you’re talking for 20 minutes because they want to know your life story.” That warm embrace can be felt in every menu item and decorative touch at Affresco, the pizzeria and lounge in Park Ridge that Lazzara opened in 2006. A veteran of the restaurant business at only 35 years old, Lazzara began his culinary journey …

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