We are a Boutique Produce Firm that understands the creative mind of a Chef is only limited by access to the ingredients that can bring their vision to life.
You are only as good as the product that you have to work with… and we aim to bring you the best of what Mother Nature has to offer, so you can create a work of heart.
George J. Cornille was a farmer and historic settler from the Alsace-Lorraine region of France. He & his father created a farm in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago, building a windmill and bringing a little bit of Europe to Chicago. His family also had a farm rich in prized Illinois Muck Soil, located where part of O’Hare Airport now stands.
While he loved his work, George was so trusted and well respected by the other local farmers in the Chicagoland community that they asked him to represent them when the Chicago Produce Market was created… To make sure that they were being fairly represented amongst the all the Big City merchants. It was an honor that he took seriously and he set a prescient for quality, service, & honesty that are still core tenants of our business today.
Henry J. Cornille worked with his father to carry on the tradition of the family business and was instrumental in adapting the business to bring fresh produce to people during the Second World War, The Great Depression, and many years afterwards. He cultivated many relationships with regional farmers from the Midwest and was far ahead of the locavore movement. He believed that if you bought from good people & sold to good people, that was the only way to have good business.
As the third generation, you might say Thomas Cornille had produce in his blood and that passion ran deep. He went away to college, but couldn’t resist the call of the family business. Tom was intrigued by the different varietals and exotic specialties that were just coming into vogue during the 1980s. He brought to Chicago items from corners of the globe that had previously only been available in their local regions. Subsequently… His warehouse became a Chef’s Treasure Chest. His notoriety and expertise was around long before there ever was a Food Network. Chefs in the know knew there was only one person to call when trying to find hard to get global goodies… Tom Cornille. That reputation continues today.
For many years, Cornille Specialty products were available exclusively through select hand-picked distributors. A request from Wolfgang Puck had us reconsider our business model. We’ve evolved into a Full Service Produce Vendor, bringing you everything from Apples to Zucchini, as well as the fascinating Specialties for which we’re known. To this day, we continue to evolve and innovate unique ways to service the culinary community.
The fourth generation has followed in the footsteps of their forefathers, bringing Renée, Tommy, & Dale to join their father, Tom, in daily operations, serving Chicago & our Country’s finest restaurants.