Chicago industry veteran Frank Capone dies

Chicago produce industry veteran Frank J. Capone died peacefully, surrounded by family, on Sept. 11.2019-9-11-Frank-Capone

Mr. Capone was born Feb. 20, 1934, in Chicago. His parents were Anthony and Josephine Capone and he was one of six children.

At a young age, he went to work at the South Water Market in Chicago. Mr. Capone worked for the LaMantia house until 1959. During that time, he met and married his wife, Angela Corso. They were married on Aug. 11, 1956 in Lake Forest, IL.

In 1959, Mr. Capone started working for Dominick’s Finer Foods. He trained under Mike Giunta as a produce buyer. He was sent to various states such as Michigan to learn about apples, California to learn about various growing areas around Salinas and Central Valley, and Nogales, AZ, to understand and learn the Mexican import during the winter months. He also traveled to Fresno, CA, and Pompano Beach, FL.

Mr. Capone and his wife in 1964 moved to Green Valley, AZ, where they resided for three years. During those three years, he was a produce broker for Dominick’s out of Nogales.

In 1967, while living in Green Valley, they welcomed their daughter, Jamie Marie Capone. Shortly after she was born, they moved back to the Chicagoland area. In the early 1970s, Mr. Capone was promoted and became the first vice president of produce operations for Dominick’s. He was recognized as the pioneer and was able to put produce on the map in Chicagoland.

Some of his accomplishments were building and organizing the first produce buying team of over six buyers and starting a marketing campaign to promote several new produce items at aggressive pricing. Among Mr. Capone’s other accomplishments by were adding a floral shop as part of the produce department in 1975 in Park Ridge, IL, at store No. 32 and starting the first salad bar in 1980 in an Evanston, IL, store. When Mr. Capone left Dominick’s in 1988, the company had over 122 stores. He was credited to be the leader in the produce industry in Chicagoland from the early 1970s up until he left the company.

Mr. Capone’s motto was, “To have the freshest produce in Chicagoland with the most variety with hundreds of specialty produce items at very competitive prices.”

In 2005, the Capones retired and moved back to Green Valley.

In addition to Angela, he is survived by his daughter, Jamie (Rick) Balmes; grandchildren, Rachel (Ryan) Eck, Grace and Frank Balmes; great grandchildren, Dominic Capone and Ryan Eck Jr.; brothers, Anthony and Mickey Capone; and several nieces and nephews. 

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