WHAT: Annual Luncheon of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and 2019 Retailer of the Year Award Ceremony


WHEN: October 2, 2019
11:30 Reception
Noon Luncheon & Program


WHERE: Palmer House
17 E Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60603

2019 Illinois Retailer of the Year

Members of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA), industry members, community members and elected officials join to recognize the successes and challenges of the Illinois Retail community. During the 61st Annual Meeting Luncheon, IRMA will honor the 2018 Illinois Retailer of the Year, Saputo’s Italian Restaurant of Springfield, IL.

Saputo’s Restaurant has a long tradition of serving fine Italian food and has grown into a favorite destination for tourists, dignitaries, celebrities, and locals alike. Owned and operated by third and fourth generation family members, Saputo’s is known for its Old World family recipes that maintain a high standard of excellence in both food and service.

What started with Frank and Florine Saputo’s love of Southern Italian cooking turned into a family business in 1948. Joined by Frank’s twin brother, Joe and wife Edda, they grew the restaurant into the beloved “everybody knows your name” restaurant that it is today.

Saputo’s is a gleaming representation of what it means to be an Illinois retailer, thriving for the past 70 years due to good old fashioned hard work and perseverance. While Saputo’s has been inventive throughout the years, being a leader in the pizza delivery industry in the early 1950s, the family-run restaurant has always remained true to its value of customer service. Springfield residents and traveling guests alike stop by Saputo’s for the well-known reputation but stay for the delicious food and welcoming atmosphere. With countless Springfield families who consider Saputo’s their second home, guests are always visiting to celebrate life’s most cherished moments or to enjoy a family dinner. The Saputo family has truly created valued memories not only for themselves but for families near and far.

Currently operated by Frank and Florine’s daughter, Sandy (Saputo) Coffey, her husband Mike, and their son Mike. Jr., the restaurant is proudly celebrating their 70th year of serving the Springfield community. As a literal cornerstone of Springfield, IRMA is honored to present the 2018 Illinois Retailer of the Year award to Saputo’s Restaurant.


Keynote Speaker

Paul Gossett, President, Jewel-Osco

Paul Gossett was appointed President of Jewel-Osco in July of 2018. His prior appointments include President of New England based Shaw’s and Star Market, Vice President of Marketing for Pennsylvania based ACME Markets, several operations roles for Jacksonville, FL based Winn Dixie and Senior Director of Merchandising for Edina, MN based Nash Finch Company. We are excited to host Paul as the 2018 Annual Meeting Keynote Speaker to share his insight of the retail industry.


To register for the event, as an individual or a sponsor, you may call Debbie Cole at (217) 544-1003 or complete the form below.

Registration deadline is September 20, 2019.

If overnight accomodations are needed, there is a room block available at the Palmer House. Please note that your are attending the Illinois Retail Merchants Association Annual Meeting to receive discounted pricing. Room block reservations must be secured by September 3, 2019.