Berkots buys Mario’s Market
KANKAKEE — Kankakee is the newest location for the expanding Berkot’s Super Foods grocery chain.
Berkot’s ownership wrapped up the final details on the purchase of the 22,950-square-foot former Mario’s Market store at 1557 W. Court St., on the city’s west side.
The store had been owned by the Mario Buono family since 1995. The family had also operated stores in Herscher and Limestone Township. Those stores had previously closed.
The store will be the 16th for the Berkot’s grocery.
The original store opened in Mokena in 1981. Berkot’s now has locations including Aroma Park, Manteno, Peotone, Watseka, Momence and Dwight. The 16,000-square-foot Aroma Park store had been the latest addition, opening in 2014.
The Mario Buono family and the Berkot’s ownership, John and Luke Kotara, had been negotiating for the past few months. The sides agreed in principal two to three weeks ago and the deal was finalized early this week.
Attempts to contact members of the Buono family were unsuccessful.
Jeff Schingel, of Chebanse, who had been managing the Berkot’s store in New Lenox, will be the Kankakee store manager. Schingel said the 25 employees at Mario’s have been hired by Berkot’s.
The store was closed for part of Tuesday as inventory was being completed. It will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
“We are really happy to be here,” Schingel said. “We look forward to serving the community. We’ve been serving this community with our other stores, but we are real excited to be serving Kankakee directly now.”
Prior to its purchase by the Buono family, the west Kankakee store had been a Food Expo.