Our Company History
Coborn’s Inc. acquired the Sullivan’s Foods grocery stores and other business units in northern and central Illinois, the company’s first expansion into the state May of 2023. The stores continue to operate under the Sullivan’s Foods, Savanna Home & Hardware, Sullivan's ACE Hardware, and Savanna Station names under the division name JB Sullivan LLC.
“The Sullivan family has run their family of stores with great care and is a highly respected retailer,” said Chris Coborn, chairman and CEO. “We look forward to extending the same operating philosophies in these locations that have made us successful for 102 years – investing and training for our people, supporting our communities and investing in our stores to improve the experience for our guests.
Sullivan’s Foods is a family-owned and -operated grocery retail business that was started in 1967 by John and June Sullivan. While serving in the Army, John took a part-time job as a meat cutter. After his military service, he became a full-time meat cutter in Stockton, Illinois. The family later moved to Platteville, Wisconsin, where John worked for another grocery store.
During his seven years in Platteville, he learned more about the meat cutting trade. In September 1967, John and June moved to Savanna, Illinois, and purchased their own grocery store. With the success of this location, they expanded their business in 1973 with an additional store located in Stockton.
To keep up with the growing market, the owners purchased two more locations in 1978, and then in 1980, purchased another two locations. Today, Sullivan’s Foods operates 11 locations in northern and central Illinois. Their six children have all been involved in some way with the business.
Sullivan’s Foods is supplied by Associated Wholesale Grocers as its lead wholesaler. It will continue this relationship with AWG.
With this acquisition, Coborn’s Inc.’s portfolio of grocery stores will expand to 77 locations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, North Dakota, Michigan and Illinois. The company operates about 135 business units, including grocery stores, retail liquor stores, fuel centers, pharmacies and franchised restaurant businesses.