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Business Profiles

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, ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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Morizzo Funeral Home

Walk into Tony Morizzo’s new business in Hoffman Estates, and you’ll encounter abundant sunlight flooding an impeccably appointed lobby as a glass-enclosed fireplace blazes away. It’s the kind of setting you might mistake for an inviting-yet-dignified inn, unless you read the sign out front. The Morizzo Funeral Home is a true milestone for Tony, representing the life’s work of a man who has built a family business based on four simple-yet-solid cornerstones: family, friendship, relationships and giving back. His brother Dan and son Ross join him in the third-generation enterprise. Morizzo’s new facility opened in November after 11 months of ...

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Regal Seating Company

It’s been 50-plus years since Regal Seating Company starting manufacturing its custom, made-to-order commercial bar stools and chairs. And that kind of longevity extends not only across years and generations, but also into the very social fabric of the Chicago area’s most vibrant restaurants and taverns. Whether you’ve frequented Lou Malnati’s Gold Coast Chicago location, Beer House Chicago in Lombard, or Stout Barrel House and Galley on the Near North Side, you’ve seen the handiwork of Regal and its president, Jerry Saviano. On a grander scale, Regal has manufactured the seating for all the restaurants in the ever-expanding Buona Beef ...

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Rex Carton Co.

As manufactured goods go, you can’t get more basic than a corrugated cardboard box. It’s not sexy, especially not compared to an iPhone or a laptop. But no matter how far technology advances, you have to ship that trinket in something. So think of it this way. No box? No computer. No smartphone. No mail-order gifts. No shipments. No flow of commerce. There’s no alternative as economical or ecological. “You can’t think of a more green business,” says Ron Lemar, president of Rex Carton Co. “We’ve been recycling for 50 years. And the paper industry grows more trees than just ...

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