8751 W. 50TH STREET
Our Company, originally known as Capitol Wholesale Meats, was founded in 1960 by
our father, Oriano Fontanini, a young Italian immigrant who believed in the “American
Dream,” and his wife, Jennie. Originally, it was a meat company selling primal meat cuts of
beef, pork, veal, fresh cut chickens, and making fresh ground hamburger.
Their children, Gene and Joanne Fontanini, worked in the family business at a young
age. Gene learned the art of boning meat, and drove the original family truck making
deliveries to our customers. Jennie from the start handled the financial demands of the
business, mostly from her home office, and JoAnne quickly started to learn the basics of
running a business.
In the 1970’s, the company occupied a 21,000 square foot building on Randolph Street
in the “Old Italian Neighborhood.” At that time, Gene explored the pizza business and
eventually brought the knowledge of making bulk and rope Italian Sausage as well as selling
pizza supplies to pizzerias and restaurants back to the family. Through hard work and
perseverance, Capitol Wholesale Meats, became a major pizzeria supply company in the
Chicagoland area with more than 10 trucks delivering daily to pizzerias, Italian restaurants,
and grocery stores in Illinois and Wisconsin. The Company name then evolved to Fontanini
Italian Meats and Sausages.
Gene and Oriano then had the vision to focus on manufacturing and selling nationally
and grew the business selling pizza distributors one state at a time. In the late 1980’s, The
Swift Eckrich plant, a 3 story in the Chicago stockyards, became available for sale and we
made the purchase of the century! It took a little over two years to renovate, and build a
freezer. Up until this point, we manufactured raw bulk, rope and link sausages, as well as raw
meatballs. Once settled in our new plant, we began producing Italian Roast Beef, cooked
meatballs, and cooked Italian sausage for pizza. We then began to hire a direct Sales Team
which drove sales both nationally and overseas. As business continued to grow, we made the
decision in 2008 to build a new 188,000 square foot state-of-the-art plant located in McCook,
Illinois. The company still remains family owned and both Gene and JoAnne continue to run
the day to day operations while grooming the 3rd generation. Today we are joined by our
entire team of employees in our commitment to excellence.
We have built our history on a strong foundation brick by brick. Each of our walls is
supported by a loyal following of customers that demand only the best. Every box we
manufacture is marked with our name, Fontanini, and with our tag line traced back to our
family roots from Lucca, Italy: Una Bella Differenza - A Beautiful Difference!
5941 W. 82nd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46278
8751 W. 50TH STREET