Grocery Stores Headquartered in Illinois

Illinois is home to several well-known supermarkets and grocery stores. Some are larger chains, while others are more regionalized and neighborhood focused. Jewel-Osco is headquartered in the Chicago suburbs, as are IGA, Aldi, Mariano’s, and Caputo’s. In downstate Illinois, Quincy is home to Niemann Foods, which includes County Market and Save-A-Lot stores. Sullivan’s Foods operates 11 locations in northern and central Illinois.

Jewel-Osco, founded by Frank Ross and his brother-in-law Frank Skiff, launched in 1899 as the Jewel Tea Company. In the 20th century, the company began operating as Jewel Food Stores and its continued expansion in the 1960s brought in Osco Drugs, leading to the debut of the Jewel-Osco combination stores. Today, Jewel-Osco operates under the Albertson’s umbrella of stores. Jewel-Osco currently operates 188 stores throughout the Chicagoland area, Indiana, and Iowa. 

Ferd Niemann, Sr. and Steve Niemann opened their first grocery store in 1917, and by 1930 they were operating 10 corner grocery stores and a wholesale business. In 1940, Niemann Foods, Inc. introduced its first full-service supermarket in Quincy. The Niemann footprint continues to expand, with Save-A-Lot stores offering groceries at discount prices and County Market being more of a conventional grocery store. The new Harvest Market stores, of which there are locations in Champaign and Springfield, include a grocery store, deli, bakery, coffee shop, restaurant, bar, and educational cooking area. ValuCheck stores have also opened in recent years, including in Pekin and Champaign. 

Caputo’s Fresh Markets has 10 locations in the Chicago suburbs and locations west of the city. In addition to groceries, a deli, and fresh produce items, Caputo’s features an Italian bakery and catering options. Founder Angelo Caputo grew up in Italy but dreamed of coming to America. As a teenager, he enlisted in the Army and gained U.S. citizenship. After marrying the love of his life, Romana, Caputo opened his first neighborhood market in 1958 in Elmwood Park. 

The world-famous La Bella Romana line of food products was launched in the 1980s. Expansion began in the 1990s and Caputo’s currently has nine locations in the Chicagoland area, with a 10th on the way. The business is now owned and operated by Angelo and Romana’s daughter and son-in-law, Antonella and Robertino, along with their children. 

Aldi is a discount grocery chain founded by the Albrecht family in Germany in 1961. The first store in the U.S. opened in 1976 in Iowa, and today the business is headquartered in Batavia. Aldi currently has over 2,000 stores across 36 states. Aldi is focused on everyday low prices, and its smaller store layout makes for a quicker shopping experience. Items are displayed in their original shipping boxes, saving money by not having employees around to constantly stock shelves. 

IGA, or the Independent Grocers Alliance, was founded in 1926 to bring family-owned, local grocery stores under the IGA brand. IGA’s worldwide presence involves 41 countries, and today across the U.S. communities are being served by second, third, and fourth generation local IGA grocers. IGA has 763 locations in 38 states in the U.S.

Sullivan’s Foods is a family-owned and operated grocery retail business that was started by John and June Sullivan. In 1967, the couple moved to Savanna, located in the northwest corner of the state in
Carroll County, and purchased their own grocery store. The first expansion was in 1973 with an additional location in Stockton. The Sullivans’ six children have all been involved in the family business over the years. Sullivan’s Foods is a full-service supermarket chain that offers a variety of services and amenities. Coborn’s Inc. acquired Sullivan’s Foods grocery stores in May 2023, and they continue to operate under the division name JB Sullivan LLC. 

Mariano’s serves Chicago with 13 locations and has 44 in all, offering in-store shopping, delivery, and curbside pickup. Mariano’s offers its neighborhood residents products such as fresh produce, means, seafood, dry goods, home supplies, health products and more. Mariano’s operates under the Kroger umbrella of stores, with the companies merging in 2015. Mariano’s was founded in 2010 by Robert Mariano, and the first location opened in Arlington Heights in 2010. 

In October 2023, Kroger and Albertsons announced they were selling more than 400 stores and other assets to seek a path for a merger. Included in the sale was the Mariano’s brand name. It was immediately not clear what the future impacts will be. The large grocery chains are merging in order to compete with Walmart, Amazon, and other major companies that continue to enhance their presence in the grocery business. Reaction to the proposed merger has been mixed from Chicago residents.