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John Fortino

John Fortino, the founder of Fortinos, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2021, passed away in 2011 at the age of 76. When he was 19 in 1954, he immigrated to Canada from Italy and by 1961 had opened his first grocery store with his two sisters. Years later, with seven founding partners, Fortinos began an expansion plan that would see the chain grow to the 23 stores now operating in Ontario. Fortino turned his store’s slogan—“the supermarket with a heart”— into action by raising millions of funds through the years for different charitable foundations and for local communities. He received many honours, including the Order of Italy, Italo-Canadian Citizen of the Year and induction into the Hamilton Gallery of Distinction. He is remembered fondly as one of Hamilton, Ontario’s best-known business leaders