Independent Store News Midwest Store Equipment Technology

Tech Meets Tradition At Angelo Caputo’s New Carol Stream, Illinois, Store


When Angelo Caputo’s Fresh Market officially opened its newest store Wednesday, it reflected a marriage of leading-edge technology and Old World tradition.

The store at 550 E. North Avenue in Carol Stream, Illinois, houses some of the latest refrigeration equipment on the market, built to sustainability standards that set the 56-year-old grocery chain apart from other local supermarkets. But the high-tech, environmentally friendly refrigerators, freezers and display cases—all from Hillphoenix—showcase handmade cakes, sauces and sausages made from recipes the grocer’s founders brought over from Italy nearly 70 years ago.

The building itself is a mix of old and new. It’s a 300,000-s.f. converted industrial space that not only serves as a store, but also as a commissary and warehouse. It’s a central hub from which Caputo’s can distribute goods to its seven other stores around Chicago.

Caputo’s executives say the grocer relied on Hillphoenix, a longtime partner, to help design the layout and equipment placement for the entire site.

“We trusted Hillphoenix to help us create a space that could serve multiple purposes,” said Robertino Presta, CEO of the chain he owns with his wife, Antonella Caputo Presta, president of the chain and the daughter of Caputo’s founders. “Hillphoenix helped us create a functional and beautiful space that achieves our goals of driving business efficiency and turning our customers’ shopping trips into events. Together, we created a lot of theater.”

A walk through the 100,000-s.f. store reveals sights, sounds, smells and tastes designed to engage shoppers. Caputo’s wants customers to feel at home, Presta said.

“We’re inviting customers to visit with us—to share in how we prepare the foods they’ll take to their families,” he added.

The refrigeration equipment also reflects Caputo’s commitment to customers and the community, according to Presta. It’s from Hillphoenix’s Second Nature line, which uses CO2 refrigerant, rather than the standard hydrofluorocarbon-based refrigerant linked to harmful emissions. Caputo’s was the first U.S. grocer to install Hillphoenix’s environmentally sustainable Advansor CO2 Booster system, which also lowers refrigerant and energy costs and puts Caputo’s ahead of future regulation around hydrofluorocarbons.

“Hillphoenix’s Advansor system has helped me future-proof my business,” Presta said. “On top of that, installing CO2 was the right thing to do. We’re making smart business decisions that also contribute to the sustainability of our communities.”

Go here to see photos from the new Carol Stream store’s grand opening celebration this week.

About the author

Kristen Cloud

A former newspaper editor and publisher who has handled digital duties for The Shelby Report since 2011. She once enjoyed leisurely perusing the grocery store aisles but, since having a baby in 2016, is now an enthusiastic click-and-collect shopper.

Featured Photos

Featured Video