Home / Business Beat

Business Beat

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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, ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »

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 ...

Read More »