As 2024 begins, we reflect on last year which marked our 65th year in business. We hit a lot of milestones last year and now we take a minute to look ahead and think of what 2024, our 66th year in business, will bring. No matter what, we make sure to stay true to what our business was founded on. We never move forward without acknowledging all the sacrifice, dedication, and lessons it took to get us to where we are now.
If you’re new to Caputo’s or want to know more about us, allow us to introduce ourselves because we are more than just your average grocery store.
Our story dates back to the 1950s when an italian immigrant, Angelo Caputo, with a strong work ethic and desire to make something of himself came to America. He was born in Mola di Bari, Italy and immigrated to America at the age of 18. To gain entry into the country, he enlisted in the US army. His goal was to live out the American Dream.
He put everything he had towards accomplishing his goal and his hard work paid off. In 1958, on the corner of Harlem and Wrightwood in Elmwood Park, Angelo opened Caputo’s New Farm Produce. That is what started it all.
Angelo is synonymous with Romana. Angelo fell in love with Romana at a young age when he was still in Italy and their love story is very special. When he was in the army, he asked for a leave and went straight back to Mola di Bari to check on the love of his life and a few weeks later, they were married! They shared a beautiful story together. Romana was always a pillar of strength for Angelo. She supported him through every obstacle and challenge.
In 1984, they were back in Italy visiting family and looking at product manufacturers in hopes of launching a private label. When thinking of a name for this upcoming private label, Angelo decided this was the perfect opportunity to honor the beauty of his wife. He named the new brand, La Bella Romana which translates to The Beautiful Romana. Anyone who knew Romana knew that she was the most incredible woman. She had a heart bigger than anyone could imagine. She was selfless, humble, and was known for her self taught skills in the kitchen.
Anyone lucky enough to have a meal prepared by Romana Caputo can attest that it was probably one of the best meals they’ve ever had. Her skills inspired our La Bella Romana Cucina and kitchen. We have a full kitchen in our warehouse where we make prepared foods and catering items from scratch.
She also inspired our La Bella Romana Bakery. Every item is made from scratch out of our central bakery in our Carol Stream location and sent to all our stores daily. Many of the cookie recipes even adapted from Romana’s very own recipes.
The most important thing to Angelo and Romana both was their family. We are now being run by Angelo and Romana’s daughter Antonella, son-in-law Robertino, and their children. We now have 4 generations of Caputo family members. Though we grow, we never forget the lessons Angelo and Romana taught us and we take those with us in every aspect of our business.
Sadly, both Angelo and Romana have passed. Our family takes comfort in knowing they are together in heaven, probably dancing and enjoying the many feasts Romana is preparing. Not a day goes by where we don’t think of them and remember their sacrifices and all they had to overcome to accomplish what they did. Our family is committed to making sure their legacy lives on.
We want to thank our extended family of customers for their loyalty throughout the past 65+ years and we look forward to continuing to make more memories in the years to come!
From Our Family To Yours