Dominick's Finer Foods Veteran Frank J. Capone Passes Away
- by Jordan Okumura
CHICAGO, IL - It is with heavy hearts that we report that Frank J. Capone, a long-time leader at Dominick’s Finer Foods, has passed away. He will be greatly missed by the industry and all who knew him.
Capone was born in Chicago, IL on February 20, 1934, and was one of six children to parents Anthony and Josephine Capone. He started in the industry at a young age, when he began working at the South Water Market in Chicago. Capone worked for the LaMantia house until 1959, during which time he met and married his wife Angela Corso. The couple exchanged vows on August 11, 1959 in Lake Forest, IL.
He began working at Dominick’s Finer Foods in 1959, where he trained under produce buyer Mike Giunta. Capone traveled extensively to build his industry knowledge—he went to Michigan to learn about apples; California to learn about growing regions around Salinas and Central Valley; Nogales, AZ, to understand and learn about the Mexican import during winter months.; and Fresno, CA, and Pompano Beach, Florida as well. Over time, Capone grew into a formidable produce buyer.
Capone and his wife moved to Green Valley, AZ, in 1964, where they stayed for three years. During their time in Arizona, Capone worked as a produce broker for Dominick’s out of Nogales, and more importantly, the couple welcomed their first and only daughter, Jamie Marie Capone, in 1967. After Jamie was born, the family moved back to the Chicago area.
In the early 1970’s, Capone was recognized as the pioneer he was and became Dominick’s very first Vice President of Produce Operations. In that role, he was able to put produce on the map in Chicago and had many accomplishments. Capone built and organized the first produce buying team of over six buyers, and launched a marketing campaign to promote several new produce items at aggressive pricing. He also added a floral shop as part of the produce department in 1975 at Store #32 in Park Ridge, IL, and launched the first salad bar at Store #93 in Evanston, IL.
Capone departed from Dominick’s in 1988, at a time when the grocer had over 122 stores. From the early 1970’s until the time he left, Capone was lauded as a leader in the produce industry in Chicago, and an individual of great character, who took the meaning of the word ‘respect’ to another level. According to his obituary, his motto was, “to have the freshest produce in Chicagoland with the most variety with hundreds of specialty produce items at very competitive prices.” Capone and his wife later retired and moved back to their former home of Green Valley, AZ in 2005.
Capone passed away peacefully on September 11, surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by his wife Angela; 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.
Our condolences go out to Frank’s family, friends, and industry colleagues.