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Mautino’s Distributing Co. ... Since 1905

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012 12:46 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012 12:52 p.m. CDT
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(BCR photo/Lyle Ganther)
Mark Mautino, the current president of Mautino Distributing Co. in Spring Valley, is the fourth generation of Mautinos to run the company that has been in existence since 1905.
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Brothers Richard Mautino and Tony Mautino.
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Frank "Mule" Mautino and his wife, Amelia, are shown in 1936. He took over Mautino Distributing Co. from his father, Anton "Tony" Mautino, who started the business in 1905 in Spring Valley.

Editor’s note: This following story is another segment in the BCR’s continuing series on area businesses who have more than 100 years under their belts.

Mautino Distributing Co. has been in existence in Spring Valley for more than a century because the business was built on personal contact and good service.

Mark Mautino, the current president of the company and fourth generation of Mautinos to run the company, also credits the company’s 25 employees for its long-term success. 

“We distribute everything from bottled water to water softeners to non-alcoholic products,” said Mark, the son of former president Tony Mautino, who took over in 2012 after working for the company for about 20 years. “We have an extremely good base of products.”

Mautino Distributing Co. distributes thousands of products to small companies in Bureau, Marshall, LaSalle, Putnam, Livingston and Grundy counties.

“Our product mix has changed drastically over the years. We always look for new products as tastes change of our customers. There are so many microbrews and beers nobody has ever heard of that are very popular today,” said Mark.

His father, Tony, added, “We still have fun, but it is more of a challenge to run a business today. It is like when Monday Night Football first came on, we had unbelievable business because of that. It (MNF) has now sort of faded. 

“Five-gallon bottles of water being delivered are now more popular today because people are more health conscious, and many are having problems with their water supplies,” he said.

“We got back into the beer, wine and spirits business two years ago in 2010 after selling that part of the business in 2006 to Euclid Beverage,” added Tony. “We had 60 employees before we sold the beer, wine and spirits business. We now have 25 employees.

“We also sell juices, water, teas, soda, paper goods, Styrofoam and plastic cups plus industrial supplies and cleaners,” he said. “We also sell Luige’s pizzas, red-hot, hot dogs.”

Mautino Distributing Co. was established by Frank “Mule” Mautino with two employees. He acquired it from his father, Anton “Tony” Mautino, who started with a grocery store and gas station in the 300 block of West Dakota Street. Anton and Mary (Ottino) Mautino came to America in 1905, settling in Spring Valley.

Anton died in 1953. His only son, Frank “Mule” Mautino, took over running the company in 1947. Frank’s son, Richard Mautino Sr., succeeded him in the late 1960s until he was elected to the Illinois General Assembly in 1974. Richard’s brother, Tony, who started working for the company in 1968, then took over running the family-run business until 2012 when his son, Mark, became president.

In 1928, Anton started in business with Star Union Brewing Co. After the repeal of Prohibition in 1934, he started as a Star Model Distributor. His son, Frank “Mule” Mautino took over in 1947. Anton died in 1953, and his wife, Nalda, in 1949.

In 1951, Frank “Mule” Mautino added Hamms Beer to the distributing list. He then acquired Miller Brewing Co. franchise in 1972. He also added wines, bar supplies and glassware for local retailers.

In 1972, the business was moved from a 5,000-square-foot location at 320 W. Dakota St. in Spring Valley to a 36,000-square-foot building at 500 N. Richards St. 

In January of 1985, Mautino Distributing Co. became distributors of Coors beer.

The original warehouse has been expanded several times over the years to now have about 70,000 square feet with another 15,000-square-foot building across North Richards Street built in 2006. That is when the current office building of 4,000 square feet in size was also built south of the warehouses on North Richards Street.

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