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Cutting-edge Sustainability


Angelo Caputo’s Fresh Market’s newest store combines the 56-year-old grocer’s signature Old World traditions with leading-edge technology. The 100,000-sq.-ft. store, in Carol Stream, Illinois, houses state-of-the art refrigeration equipment that helps set it apart from other local supermarkets.

The building itself is a mix of old and new. A hybrid, it’s a 300,000-sq.-ft. converted industrial space that not only serves as a store, but also as a commissary and warehouse from which Caputo’s can distribute goods to its seven other stores around Chicago.

All three parts of the building are outfitted with leading-edge refrigeration equipment, The high-tech, environmentally friendly refrigerators, freezers and display cases showcase handmade cakes, sauces and sausages made from recipes the grocery’s founders brought over from Italy decades ago.

The refrigeration equipment was supplied by Hillphoenix, which also helped design the layout and equipment placement for the entire site.

“Hillphoenix helped us create a functional and beautiful space that achieves our goals of driving business efficiency and turning our customers’ shopping trips into events,” said Robertino Presta, CEO of Caputo’s, which he owns with his wife, Antonella Caputo Presta, president of the chain and the daughter of Caputo’s founders.

The refrigeration equipment reflects the grocer’s commitment to community. Caputo’s is the first U.S. supermarket to install Hillphoenix’s Advansor CO2 Booster system, which uses environmentally sustainable CO2 refrigerant as an alternative to the hydrofluorocarbon-based refrigerant found in traditional commercial refrigeration systems. (Hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, emit greenhouse gases linked to global warming.)

In addition, the system also requires less refrigerant charge than HFC systems.

The CO2 system was more expensive on the front end than an HFC system, Presta explained, but he expects to recoup the investment through lower refrigerant and energy costs. Plus, he won’t have to worry about upcoming regulations on HFCs.

“Hillphoenix’s Advansor system has helped me future-proof my business,” Presta said. “On top of that, installing CO2 was the right thing to do.”

Hillphoenix also advised Caputo’s on other sustainable features, such as choosing the proper LED lights.

“As we designed our new location, we kept the environment in mind from top to bottom,” Presta said. “It’s apparent in everything from the LED lighting in our refrigerated cases, store and parking lot to the electric-car charging stations outside. Our environmental commitment also plays a role in places our customers can’t see — our CO2 refrigeration system, of course, and the recycled concrete in our foundation.”

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