John Fortino

Fortinos – The Life and Times of John Fortino

Fortinos Grocery Stores, founded by Italian immigrant John Fortino in Hamilton over four decades ago, have become a staple of the community for their fresh food offerings and warm service.

Loblaw acquired Fortinos in 1988 and now operates 20 locations throughout Ontario. Additionally, some locations featured European-style townsquare shopping concepts.

Early Life and Education

Fortino, a native of Cosenza in Southern Italy, immigrated to Canada at 19 years old and never looked back. He opened his first grocery store in Hamilton in 1961 and now operates 20 locations from Stoney Creek to Vaughan.

He was an active member of his Italian community and enjoyed a storied career in the food industry. His dedication to customer service was the cornerstone of his success.

As founder of Fortinos Supermarkets, John was instrumental in building a company that is widely regarded as one of Ontario’s best. His commitment to offering top-notch products and outstanding customer service made him an inspirational leader and role model for other supermarket owners; his passing will be felt deeply by many.

Professional Career

Fortino earned a reputation for offering customers fresh food at fair prices throughout his professional career. Furthermore, he dedicated himself to encouraging healthy eating habits.

In 1972, he founded Fortinos Grocery Stores, a chain of grocery stores specializing in farm fresh products. This business was acquired by Loblaw Corporation in 1988 and has since expanded to 20 locations across Ontario.

Before founding Fortinos, Fortino worked as an electrician and steelworker. Additionally, he held various positions within the entertainment industry.

Achievements and Honors

John Fortino was an eminent entrepreneur and leader in his community. He received numerous honors, such as the Order of Italy, Italo-Canadian Citizen of the Year, and Hamilton Gallery of Distinction.

John was an incredible family man, dedicating much of his time to his three daughters Luana, Mara and Eva. Along with his beloved wife Pileria, John left behind a legacy that will last for generations to come.

He was a devout Catholic and loving father, whose example of hard work and devotion will be greatly missed by his many friends and family members.

He had a passion for literature and was an enthusiastic supporter of St. Michael’s College, having donated funds for the Mercier-Knowlton Prize in Philosophy, Christianity & Culture. Named in his honor, this award is given annually to the student with the highest CGPA in Philosophy, Christianity & Culture.

Personal Life

John Fortino lived a life of integrity, modesty and hard work. At 19 years old he immigrated to Canada from Cosenza, Italy with hopes of settling in Windsor.

Fortino worked at National Sewer Pipe for seven years in Hamilton before moonlighting at their first grocery store with his two sisters, which opened in 1961. Every morning he drove to Toronto to pick up produce and made sausage in the back room of this shop.

Today, Fortinos supermarkets he founded is one of Canada’s most successful independent grocery chains. Through his leadership, the supermarket put its slogan – the supermarket with a heart – into action by raising over $2 million for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. Furthermore, they became community partners by founding the Fortinos Heart Fund and contributing time to numerous Hamilton organizations.

Net Worth

John Fortino was an affluent businessman and the founder of Fortinos supermarket chain in Hamilton. He possessed high morals and integrity that have endured throughout his lifetime.

His success was the result of hard work, dedication and the support from family and friends. He was also renowned for his kindness and generosity.

No matter what size shop he had in Hamilton or on Mall Road, John Fortino was dedicated to offering exceptional service and superior food. He treated both his customers and employees like family.

John was an accomplished businessman, as well as being active in his community. He generously donated his time to numerous Hamilton organizations. Survived by his wife Pileria and three daughters: Luana, Mara and Eva – John will be greatly missed by those left behind.

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