“Charting the future while preserving the past”

Couri Family

Mike Couri Sr. opened a small grocery in his home in Peoria in 1909. His wife Kemla ran it while Mike worked on the railroad. From about 1913 to 1919 he operated a grocery near WABCO with his brother Ed. From 1919 to 1933 he operated a grocery at 501 West Washington, East Peoria with Thomas Rafool. He then purchased the ground across the street that housed his grocery, Lanahan’s Tavern, Duck Inn and a barbershop. In 1936 he purchased the lot at 407 Junction and opened a second grocery. In 1939, his son Si took over one of the two stores. In 1950 Mike purchased the property at 1303 East Washington and Mike’s sons opened Couri’s Foodtown there the next year. Mike retained the store at 407 Junction and leased it to first Harry Sonaborn who operated a milkshake stand and then to McDonald’s.