This year, Sunset Foods is celebrating its 80th Anniversary. What does it take for a company to reach 80 years? Dedication to the community, commitment to associates and customers, and an outstanding selection of foods at competitive prices. Thank you for making a difference in our community and supporting a local, family-owned grocer.

Sunset History Timeline

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  • First Sunset Location Exterior

    Sunset Opens

    John J. Cortesi launches Sunset Foods in a 25 foot by 30 foot storefront in downtown Highland Park. Orders were placed over the phone as self shopping didn’t yet exist.

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  • Exterior Second Sunset Store


    John is joined by his brothers Otto, Willie, and Hugo and Sunset relocates to a nearby larger space and begins offering self-service shopping - a new concept. Sunset begins offering locally sourced farm-to-table items including Didier Farms Produce and Kauffman Family Farms Turkey. Innovations which were decades ahead of their time and continue to this day.

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  • Group Shot Employees

    Community Values

    As the Cortesi family - and Sunset’s family of customers - continued to expand, a second location was added in downtown Northbrook in 1960. A third store followed in West Lake Forest. Customer service remained Sunset’s highest priority and the stores soon become informal community meeting hubs.

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  • Dan Humphrey Holding Fish

    It’s Only Natural

    A new Lake Forest store is built and Sunset continues a tradition of cutting edge innovation introducing fresh seafood counters and salad bars. The Northbrook location expands to provide a large dedicated section of “natural foods” - a category which was almost unheard of at the time.

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  • Now We’re Cooking

    As the 20th Century draws to a close, Sunset opens its fourth location in the thriving community of Libertyville. This new location offers a Grill with seating and a full menu of prepared fresh sandwiches and entrees.

    Sunset Smokehouse launches offering authentic American barbecue ribs and brisket freshly smoked on-site. In 2011, Sunset unveils its fifth and most ambitious store in Long Grove. This location features green building materials, extensive organic and gluten-free selections, and a fresh sushi bar. Soon after, Sunset introduces full service online shopping, launches Sunset Floral Design - a full-service florist, and begins adding wine and tap rooms to its stores.

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Sunset’s future remains as bright as its remarkable past and so it is with great pleasure that we share with our family and friends in the momentous occasion of celebrating 80 years in business.

Sunset Picture Gallery