Our History

osgrove Distributors is a 97 year-old family business that has served the Illinois Valley and Central Illinois since 1912. Established by Harry A. Cassiday, our business began life as Cassiday Brothers Cigar Store. In the 1920s, Harry expanded the business to include a wholesale candy distributorship and the business came to be known simply as, Cassiday Brothers. Jack Cosgrove, the current Chairman of Cosgrove Distributors, joined Cassiday Brothers in 1950. Mary Jane Cassiday Cosgrove joined the business in 1943 during the height of World War II, when her brothers were away fighting in the war. She has remained a viable and active part of her family business ever since. In the decade that followed, Cassiday Brothers expanded its business through a solid reputation and through the acquisition of U&J Candy Company, and Weiland, Incorporated. The former was a rival candy distributor and the latter distributed both tobacco and candy. Through the Weiland purchase, Cassiday Brothers became part of the Mutual Merchandising Group. Leveraging its membership in this buying group, Cassiday Brothers developed a thriving general merchandise catalogue business. The 1960’s brought yet more growth. Cassiday Brothers opened a catalogue showroom in 1961. At this time, the business was renamed Cassiday-Cosgrove, Inc. The showroom was linked with the warehouse at the corner of Greenwood and Devlin Street that today houses Cosgrove Distributors and Harry’s Cash and Carry. For more than 30 years, residents of the Illinois Valley and surrounding communities relied upon Cassiday-Cosgrove as a wholesale outlet for a wide array of merchandise, ranging from appliances to sporting goods. Variety, quality, and value were the hallmarks of Cassiday-Cosgrove.

With the emergence of large national discount retailers in the 1970’s, Cassiday-Cosgrove began to shift its emphasis from catalogue and retail sales to wholesale candy and tobacco distribution. In 1986, when Jack Cosgrove assumed leadership, the company further evolved, becoming a full-line food service distributor, changing its name to Cosgrove Distributors. At that time, the company dropped its tobacco distributorship. During the 1990’s Cosgrove Distributors further expanded through the acquisition of Towne Egg Company and of Janko Frozen Foods. In 1997 Jack Cosgrove retired as President of Cosgrove Distributors, taking on the role of Chairman, which he holds today. Since that time Nora Cosgrove has served as President and General Manager. In 1999, Sarah Cosgrove-Gaumond joined Cosgrove Distributors and expanded the business into the Bloomington, DeKalb, and Peoria markets. Today, Sarah serves as Vice President. More recently, Maria Cosgrove has returned to the family business where she focuses on sales and operations. Finally, in 2005, Cosgrove Distributor’s cash and carry business was transformed into Harry’s Cash and Carry through the complete renovation of the retail outlet and the addition of natural and gourmet product lines. They continue to serve their customers with the same care that Harry A. Cassiday did almost 100 years ago.