Remembering Angelo Caputo

How does one begin to describe a man who did such remarkable things? 

Angelo Caputo led a life of hard work, generosity, and faith. 

He was the picture of strength. He came to America as a teenager with nothing, but the desire to make something of himself and create a good life for himself and his future family. The true pioneer in the grocery industry, he founded Angelo Caputo’s Fresh Markets in 1958. 

His life goal was to serve others. He loved to make connections with people and make sure they were happy— especially by feeding them. With the creation of Angelo Caputo’s Fresh Markets, he was able to serve a large crowd. His work, paired with his wife’s ability to create a feast in a flash, meant that anyone who crossed their path was never hungry… in any way. 

He was a true legend. He created opportunities for so many and was highly regarded as an inspiration and a teacher.

When my mom was designing our Caputo’s uniforms, she very intentionally put the Caputo’s logo on the left chest and the La Bella Romana logo on the right arm. It is with great pride that we wear his name on our uniforms over our hearts. He is the heart and soul of our family and our company, so it’s only fitting that his name is written over our hearts literally, while his memory and countless lessons remain written in our hearts forever. The name of his wife is worn on our right arm because Romana was his right hand and his strength and guiding force.

He was a very proud man, and he got the most pride from watching and being a part of the successes of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He wanted to be at every moment of our lives, big or small— every hockey game, dinner, birthday, milestone, trip to the park, or pick-up game in the backyard. He loved nothing more than sharing a meal or an espressino with his loved ones. No matter what the occasion, he wanted to be there supporting his family that he loved so much.

He would take every opportunity to teach us a lesson or tell us a story— teaching us how to eat a prickly pear, telling us to always make sure the bellies on the watermelon were face down, telling us stories from his childhood, or car rides full of singing and sharing memories… he was always there for us. 

He drew his strength from his family and they were his everything. He loved to be surrounded by them, especially when they were wearing their red Caputo’s shirts. 

His favorite song was “My Way” by Frank Sinatra and nothing is more fitting to him. The song goes “I’ve lived a life that’s full. I’ve traveled each and every highway. But more, much more than this, I did it my way” 

He lived a full, beautiful life and made an impression on so many. He never shied away from any challenge, but faced every obstacle head on with class and perseverance. He created something so special. 

He leaves us with an incredible legacy that our family will work endlessly to preserve in an effort to make him proud and give him the respect that he so greatly deserves.

We take solace in knowing that he is reunited with and at peace with his beautiful wife, the greatest love of his life. We know we will see him again one day and we will make sure his legacy on earth will continue forever. We know that Nonna welcomed him home with an incredible feast and they are dancing together again. 

Rest In Peace, Nonno. We love you. 

In an effort to continue his legacy and keep his spirit alive, we want to hear your memories. Please email us with any stories or memories you have of Angelo or Caputo’s. Send them to memories@caputomarkets.com

From Our Family To Yours

35 Replies to “Remembering Angelo Caputo”

  1. Sorry for your loss. Although we live in Wisconsin, we stop and load up on pasta and other goodies while in the area.

    I would suggest that you offer t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc. to sell in your stores, as well as online. Many would buy them to represent the Caputo’s brand, while also remembering Angelo.

    RIP Mr. Caputo

  2. Sorry for your loss. Although we live in Wisconsin, we stop and load up on pasta and other goodies while in the area.

    I would suggest that you offer t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc. to sell in your stores, as well as online. Many would buy them to represent the Caputo’s brand, while also remembering Angelo.

    RIP Mr. Caputo

  3. So very sorry to the entire Caputo family. Such a loss of a great man. Carry him in your hearts and memories.

    May he rest in peace.

  4. Caputo’s family. I was saddened to hear the passing of Angelo. I remember the countless trips to our neighborhood store. My husband and I would shop as often as we could to the original Harlem store as newlyweds. My most fond memory of Angelo was when we were eating dinner at Villagio in Roselle with our young children many years ago. He was eating at a nearby table watching us trying to control our little ones. As he left he said, “You have a beautiful family”. Definitely a caring family man. My deepest condolences RIP Angelo

  5. I am Caputo’s best customer! Been shopping there for decades! God-bless Angelo and his wife they are now both in heaven. Peace James!

  6. We would drive every Saturday morning to the store on Harlem with all the garage doors. As I grew I would be the driver of my mom and grandma. Your dad would always greet them like family. I literally have been shopping at Caputo’s my entire life and I’m 60!!!

  7. Our deepest sympathy and respect to your entire family. Although we only shopped at your stores. Our family as well has a similar story. Our dad and Nonno of many grandchildren as well came from Italy to start a new life for himself and his family. Was successful and proud of the entire family.

    We wish your family healing from this loss and peace .

    Condolences,

    Kalafut Family

  8. My sister shopped at the first store and would bring us food from the store saving us money. She lived in elmwood park at the time we lived on Belmont and central. Later when I moved out to Itasca I shopped at the Addison store and Hanover park. I’m polish but raised by Italians. The Tornabene’s, the Amato’s, Marchetti’s, were a part of my extended family. Love Italian food, music, and culture. I shop primarily at Caputos. Since my husband passed away last June I buy a little less but Caputos is my store. Sometimes tears come to my eyes because he always shopped with me and I envision him walking with me. now my son accompanies me sometimes. Angelo was a wonderful man. Harriet Boe

  9. I thank him for red wine, cheese and sausage . I want to say enjoy life with your loved ones because it is short.

  10. So sorry for your loss, i met him as a young girl when the store was on Harlem. The store was pretty open back then, so it was cold in the winter. I have been to the store on Grand, I asked one of the employees if he worked at the old store, he said he did, as i recognized him from the old store. He was surprised that i remembered him. We got a xmas tree from the old store in 1963 i think, we didnt have much money back then, Angelo gave my father a big discount on the tree.

  11. Angelo Caputo created the finest emporium of food in my experience. Far better than Treasure Island, Dominicks and Jewel.
    The selection is vast and varied and the staff is friendly and supportive.
    “Caputo’s” is a testament to his vision.
    May his memory be for a blessing. Alevah Shalom. Rest in peace

  12. I so miss your stores, now that we’ve moved to Texas. Going there was the highlight of our weekends and such a wonderful experience, each and every time. We offer our heartfelt love and condolences at this difficult time, and want you all to know how much we still hold you all in our hearts.

  13. Our family has been shopping at Caputo’s since I was a child and my parents would take me to the fruit stand on Harlem Ave. I have been so happy to follow his success and continue to enjoy all the great variety of products in his stores. Several times I have seen him walking around the store. It was obvious that he still really cared. Our sincere condolences go out to all of his family. We’re absolutely sure he’s happily reunited with his beautiful Romana

  14. That is a beautiful obituary and I’m sorry I never knew him personally. I was in the Hanover Park store one day with a friend and a small, very elderly, woman hanging onto a shopping cart tried to cut in the deli line. All these younger, mostly women, just wouldn’t let her go first. My friend said everyone had to wait their turn no matter who you were. The way she said it, it seemed more like tradition than being uncaring.

  15. We love Caputo’s! What a beautiful tribute. I’m Italian and so I appreciate so many fabulous Italian products. But also so many great foods from all over the world. Your employees are so helpful and friendly. It’s a pleasure to shop at Caputo’s especially on Tuesday when you Ofer a senior discount
    Thank you and R.I.P. Angelo Caputo
    Sincerely,
    Elisabeth Howard (née Pandolfini)

  16. Sorry for the Caputo”s family loss and the Community. Beautiful story. May he rest in God’s loving arms with the Angels and his wife. Amen.

  17. The old store on Harlem was the best Italian market in Chicagoland. In the early years, going there was a cultural experience. Most customers spoke in Italian and people would greet old friends and family with gusto in the aisles. My family has many fond memories from that store and being cheerfully greeted by Mr Caputo. My deepest sympathies for your loss.

  18. My deepest sympathy for your loss. May God give you comfort and strength. The community has loss a wonderful man.

  19. What a wonderful life and such a fine example of what hard work and a strong mind can accomplish ! God Bless all of you.

  20. Always enjoyed the Angelo Caputo “Fresh Market” update on WGN TV’s noon broadcast many years ago. His love and knowledge of vegetables came through in his smile. Please continue his tradition in your stores. A long life, well lived.

  21. I never met Angelo, but his work fills my refrigerator. Fresh Produce, tomatoes with flavor. The imported tomato sauce, imported pasta! A Deli that sets the bar too high for other deli’s to compete. If you want your Volpi Genoa sliced extra thin, go to Caputo’s, they always do it the way you request. Bread. Heat and Serve dishes that taste homemade. Real Butchers! Incredible cheeses. If the Italian Sausage wasn’t from Caputo’s then it wasn’t Italian Sausage! Delicacies abound, things you cannot get from other grocery stores you will find at Caputo’s!
    He knew what people wanted and he knew how to provide it. He can be proud of his legacy. You have big shoes to fill, but I’m sure he taught you well.
    PS: The Bakery! how did I not mention the Bakery!!!
    Rest in Peace Angelo..

  22. Having grown up in Norridge I would go to the original Caputos with my parents on Harlem.when I married and moved away I missed it. Now I shop in the Naperville store. At the grand opening I gave Angelo a huge hug and thanked him for coming out this way. May he rest in peace and my deepest sympathy to his family.

  23. When I first moved to Villa Park during record -35 WINDCHILL in Jan 1994 from MI, my parents came a day ahead to meet the moving truck. They needed groceries & a little Korean lady who cut Mom’s hair that day told her, “CAPUTO’S IS THE BEST!” and gave directions to old Addison store.

    My Dad was impressed with your cannoli as we are not Italian but enjoyed them from his Italian neighborhood in Detroit.

    I appreciate that Caputo’s has ALL I need & THEN SOME without being ginormous! The employees are always friendly & helpful & Giancarlo is very responsive on customer service or when a favorite item is no longer carried.

    I never met Mr. C but feel like the Caputos are part of my life & family too! So sorry for your loss & may you be comforted by many happy memories! –Cynthia Robison, Elmhurst

  24. So sorry on hearing of Angelo’s passing, his stores will be a lasting legacy. We shop at the store on Lake in Addison, and have found it a place for good food of good value. Bless him and his family.

  25. So sorry for your loss, my condolences to the entire Caputo family. Caputo’s is an outstanding grocery store. I love shopping there.

  26. I am so saddened with the passing of Angelo. But he is reunited with his beautiful wife. We started shopping at his 1st store on Harlem when we moved in the area in 1973. It was a small store, but loved every bit of it. Very fond memories shopping there. My father grew up with Angelo in Mola di Bari. They were ‘pasins’ even when they both moved to Chicago. Moving into the bigger store on Harem and Grand was needed, going with the times and demands of us shoppers. We still shop there weekly and nice to see the workers who were from the old store still working in this newer store. Thank you for sending us his memories. It truly touched me.

  27. I moved to Arizona four years ago and I truly miss Caputos. I love how it is so family oriented and miss all the good food every time I come back and visit Chicago I always make a way to go to Caputo‘s and purchase all the stuff I missed. May Angelo Rest In Peace And his children keep his memory of Caputo’s keep going

  28. I love the Caputo’s stores–they are my absolute favorite and it goes to show that little chains can be successful against the big corporate giants. I always find the staff friendly at the Bloomingdale location as they tell me about produce I am not familiar with, slicing my lunchmeat or handing me a hot loaf of bread fresh from the oven!

    RIP Mr. Caputo 🙂

  29. I’m very sorry for the loss of Angelo. He will be greatly missed. The family was blessed to have him. The community was blessed to have his stores to which to feed their families. May God Bless you and comfort you during this most difficult time.

  30. You have my condolences on the passing of Angelo Caputo. My family used to take 3 CTA buses each way to shop at Angelo’s original store on the west side of Harlem in Elmwood Park and take shopping bags of food home back to the Logan Square area of Chicago. He always had kind words to say to everybody and never was rude like some small store owners in my neighborhood had.

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