Fred Cooper - NABI Board Member and Industry Executive

Fred Cooper - NABI Board Member and Industry Executive

Chicago Sun Times remembrance of  Fred Cooper

Fred Cooper wore custom-made suits from the same tailoring house that outfitted real estate magnate Arthur Rubloff, former New York mayor John Lindsay and composer Stephen Sondheim. His ties were from London’s Turnbull & Asser. He ate out every night at Chicago’s finest restaurants.
But he wasn’t making the scene to be seen.
In a sense, it was his job.
Mr. Cooper was vice chair of the liquor distributor Wirtz Beverage Group of Illinois. He was the man in the middle of a complex network of business relationships between restaurants, retail stores, winemakers and distillers. He made sure it all worked, said his boss W. Rockwell “Rocky” Wirtz.
“He was going out there as a goodwill ambassador,” said Wirtz, a Chicago Sun-Times investor and chairman of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Mr. Cooper’s death was mentioned during the Sunday evening telecast of the Blackhawks playoff game. He died Saturday at age 74 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital of complications from amyloidosis, abnormal protein build-ups in the body.
He was tireless and tenacious at his job. He watched the wine lists at area eateries to see if Wirtz Beverage Group was their distributor. If it wasn’t, he’d ask restaurateurs what his company needed to do to get their business. And if a client ran out of liquor, Mr. Cooper would handle it personally. He built unshakeable customer loyalty on his attention to detail.
Mr. Cooper would often drop by Lino’s, a now-shuttered Phil Stefani dining establishment. If Lino’s was out of the wine supplied by the Wirtz group, “He would call his salesman,” Stefani said. “The next day we would have it back.”
Often, Mr. Cooper would put the cases in his car and make the deliveries personally.
He visited vineyards and distillers, introducing himself to the artisans who crafted the wines and spirits. He convinced them to provide their products to his company, and then saw to it that Wirtz was also the choice of area restaurants and retailers for keeping their wine cellars and store shelves filled.
“Fred was very persistent. He didn’t understand the terminology ‘no,’ ” Stefani said.
He often spirited copies of wine lists out of restaurants so he could study them and figure out who was doing business with whom. “If there was a change to any wine list at any restaurant that did not favor his company, he was the first to know about it, and the first to do something about it,” said Michael Binstein, owner of Binny’s Beverage Depot.
He was born into the business. “His parents started selling wine or whiskey the day Prohibition was repealed,” said Bart O’Toole, his life partner of 28 years. The Coopers started Continental Distributing Company, which was acquired in 1996 by the Wirtz family distributorship.
Mr. Cooper grew up in Rogers Park. He was educated at Culver Military Academy and Carleton College in Minnesota before he joined the family business in 1959.
“There wasn’t a leader of a liquor or wine company that he didn’t know, or hadn’t done business with,” said Michael Binstein. “Sometimes he knew two and tree generations of people on the retail end of this business, or the retail suppliers’ side.”
He was instrumental in the success of Chicago Gourmet, Millennium Park’s upscale food fest, said John Colletti, managing partner of Gibsons Restaurant Group. The Illinois Restaurant Association wanted to create a celebration of Chicago food and wine, and “Freddie was the go-to guy,” Colletti said. “When I was inquiring about wineries and where to go, he set me up with a list in Napa — he set up a list of who to go to, and say hello to.”
Mr. Cooper “liked Italian wines, Amarones, Malbecs, Shiraz, Pinots, “whatever they were selling,” said Bart O’Toole, “because when you’re selling wine, you’ve got to be politic to your producers.”
Ironically, health problems meant he had to watch what he ate when he visited some of Chicago’s most exquisite restaurants. He usually dined on grilled chicken breast, a slice of raw white onion, a plain vegetable and a salad with lemons.
Mr. Cooper liked to buy his clothing in New York. He and O’Toole took memorable cruises on Cunard, “back when the Sea Goddess was the Sea Goddess,” his partner said. The ship was outfitted like a posh private yacht. On one trip to Vietnam, they dodged pirates and 18- foot swells.
He started shaving his head about a decade ago when he began to lose his hair, O’Toole said. “He was comfortable with himself,” including his sexual orientation, O’Toole said. “I was at all the suppliers’ daughters’ and sons’ weddings.”
He also wasn’t afraid to tell someone if he felt they weren’t doing their job. “He was blunt,” O’Toole said, “but he wasn’t rude, and he didn’t have a mean bone in his body.”Mr. Cooper was also a director of the Wine & Spirit Wholesalers of America; the National Association of Beverage Importers, and the Chicago chapter of the World Association of the Alcohol Beverage Industries.

53 comments (Add your own)

1. services for sale wrote:
Nice, to see this great news! Thanks for sharing this post!

Wed, August 17, 2011 @ 7:11 AM

2. 車査定 wrote:
Cars can be purchased online now, gone are the days when the buyer use to visits several showrooms to purchase cars and they were very expensive, due to online selling the cost of setting up showroom is saved and hence the seller is willing to sell the car in low price.

Mon, June 25, 2012 @ 1:19 AM

3. Olegtuple wrote:

Sun, March 5, 2017 @ 10:01 PM

4. Kostyatuple wrote:

Sat, April 15, 2017 @ 1:25 PM

5. Elljegree wrote:
Buy Nolvadex Uk Achat Amoxicillin Pharmacie A Bon Compte France [url=]canadian pharmacy cialis 20mg[/url] Soy Milk And Amoxicillin

Sun, June 3, 2018 @ 8:49 PM

6. wrote:
Can you tell us more about this? I'd like to find out some additional information.

Sat, October 6, 2018 @ 12:40 PM

7. wrote:
I like what you guys tend to be up too. This type of clever work and coverage!
Keep up the wonderful works guys I've incorporated you guys to my blogroll.

Sun, October 7, 2018 @ 12:09 AM

8. wrote:
I am extremely impressed along with your writing
skills as neatly as with the structure in your weblog.
Is that this a paid topic or did you customize it yourself?

Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it's
rare to see a great blog like this one today..

Tue, October 9, 2018 @ 11:17 PM

9. wrote:
I'm very pleased to find this page. I need to to thank you for
your time for this particularly wonderful read!!
I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it and i also have
you book-marked to check out new things on your blog.

Wed, October 10, 2018 @ 12:15 AM

10. wrote:
It is appropriate time to make some plans for the longer term and it is time to be happy.
I have learn this put up and if I may just I want to suggest you few fascinating
things or suggestions. Perhaps you could write subsequent
articles relating to this article. I wish to learn more things approximately it!

Thu, October 11, 2018 @ 4:33 AM

11. wrote:
Hello! I'm at work browsing your blog from my new iphone 3gs!

Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog
and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the excellent work!

Sat, November 3, 2018 @ 9:45 PM

12. wrote:
Quest bars cheap fitnesstipsnew1 quest bars cheap 516999410492780544 quest bars
It's going to be finish of mine day, except before finish I am reading this wonderful
post to improve my know-how. Quest bars cheap fitnesstipsnew1 quest bars cheap 516999410492780544 quest bars cheap

Sun, November 4, 2018 @ 9:05 PM

13. wrote:
Hello my family member! I wish to say that this
article is amazing, great written and come with approximately all significant infos.
I would like to see extra posts like this .

Tue, November 6, 2018 @ 10:39 AM

14. wrote:
I enjoy what you guys are up too. This sort
of clever work and reporting! Keep up the terrific works guys I've incorporated you guys to blogroll.

Tue, November 13, 2018 @ 10:03 PM

15. wrote:
I simply could not depart your website before suggesting that I really enjoyed the standard info an individual provide to your guests?
Is going to be again frequently in order to inspect new posts

Thu, December 6, 2018 @ 9:13 AM

16. wrote:
I'd like to find out more? I'd like to find out more details.

Tue, March 26, 2019 @ 10:38 AM

17. wrote:
I like the valuable information you supply on your articles.
I'll bookmark your blog and check again right here frequently.
I'm fairly sure I will learn plenty of new
stuff proper right here! Best of luck for the following!

Wed, April 3, 2019 @ 6:11 PM

18. wrote:
If some one desires to be updated with hottest technologies after that he
must be visit this website and be up to date daily.

Sat, April 6, 2019 @ 10:13 PM

19. wrote:
It is not my first time to pay a visit this web page, i
am visiting this site dailly and get good information from
here daily.

Mon, April 8, 2019 @ 3:49 AM

20. wrote:
Link exchange is nothing else except it is just placing the other person's weblog link on your page at appropriate place and other person will
also do similar in favor of you.

Wed, April 10, 2019 @ 4:07 AM

21. wrote:
Hello to all, how is everything, I think every one is getting more from this
site, and your views are fastidious in favor of new visitors.

Fri, April 19, 2019 @ 10:10 PM

22. wrote:
Hi, I do believe this is a great web site. I stumbledupon it ;) I will return once again since I book
marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.

Tue, June 4, 2019 @ 7:24 AM

23. wrote:
you're truly a just right webmaster. The website loading pace is amazing.
It seems that you're doing any distinctive trick.

Also, The contents are masterwork. you have done a excellent task
on this subject!

Mon, June 10, 2019 @ 10:14 AM

24. wrote:
This is a very good tip especially to those fresh to
the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate info… Many thanks for sharing this one.
A must read post!

Fri, June 14, 2019 @ 6:18 PM

25. wrote:
Thank you for some other informative web site.
The place else may I am getting that type of information written in such a perfect method?
I have a mission that I am simply now running on, and I have been at the look out for
such information.

Fri, June 21, 2019 @ 5:41 PM

26. wrote:
Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article!

It's the little changes that make the biggest changes.

Many thanks for sharing!

Sat, June 22, 2019 @ 1:06 AM

27. wrote:
Generally I don't learn article on blogs, however I would like to say that this
write-up very pressured me to try and do so! Your
writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, very great article.
natalielise plenty of fish

Wed, July 24, 2019 @ 7:14 AM

28. wrote:
I think that everything published made a great deal of sense.

But, think on this, what if you typed a catchier title?
I am not suggesting your content isn't solid., but what if you
added a post title to possibly grab people's attention? I mean Fred Cooper - NABI Board Member and Industry Executive
| NABI is kinda vanilla. You might look at Yahoo's home page and see how they create news titles to grab people to open the links.
You might add a video or a pic or two to grab readers excited about everything've
written. Just my opinion, it would bring your website a little livelier.

Tue, July 30, 2019 @ 5:26 AM

29. wrote:
Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an really long comment
but after I clicked submit my comment didn't show up.
Grrrr... well I'm not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say wonderful blog!

Tue, August 13, 2019 @ 9:23 AM

30. wrote:
Its such as you read my mind! You appear to understand so much about this,
like you wrote the book in it or something.

I feel that you just can do with some % to drive the message house a little bit,
however other than that, that is wonderful blog.
A fantastic read. I will certainly be back.

Wed, August 14, 2019 @ 12:25 AM

31. wrote:
Attractive portion of content. I just stumbled upon your
weblog and in accession capital to assert that I
acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I will be
subscribing in your augment and even I achievement you get
right of entry to constantly quickly.

Wed, August 14, 2019 @ 1:59 AM

32. wrote:
Hey there! I've been following your website for some
time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give
you a shout out from Houston Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the good work!

Fri, August 23, 2019 @ 4:53 PM

33. wrote:
Hey this is kind of of off topic but I was wondering
if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code
with HTML. I'm starting a blog soon but have no coding knowledge so I wanted to get advice
from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Wed, September 4, 2019 @ 5:11 AM

34. wrote:
Good day! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers?
I'm kinda paranoid about losing everything I've worked hard on.
Any tips?

Thu, September 5, 2019 @ 5:44 AM

35. wrote:
Hello, all the time i used to check webpage posts here in the early hours in the
break of day, as i love to learn more and more.

Mon, September 16, 2019 @ 2:32 AM

36. wrote:
I really like it when people get together and share thoughts.
Great site, continue the good work!

Mon, September 16, 2019 @ 10:39 AM

37. wrote:
Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog posts.
Anyway I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you
access consistently fast.

Mon, September 16, 2019 @ 10:57 AM

38. wrote:
I am regular visitor, how are you everybody?

This paragraph posted at this site is actually fastidious.

Fri, October 11, 2019 @ 4:53 AM

39. wrote:
Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make
your point. You obviously know what youre talking about, why throw away
your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog when you could be giving
us something enlightening to read?

Thu, October 24, 2019 @ 11:54 PM

40. wrote:
Wow, this post is fastidious, my younger sister is analyzing such things, therefore
I am going to inform her.

Mon, November 4, 2019 @ 9:10 AM

41. wrote:
I am usually to running a blog and i actually recognize your content.

Wed, November 6, 2019 @ 3:30 AM

42. wrote:
Can you tell us more about this? I'd want to find out more details.

Thu, November 14, 2019 @ 1:01 AM

43. wrote:
Hello There. I found your blog the use of msn. That is an extremely well written article.

I'll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your helpful info.
Thanks for the post. I will definitely comeback.

Sun, November 17, 2019 @ 2:48 AM

44. wrote:
I'm not sure exactly why but this site is loading extremely slow for me.
Is anyone else having this problem or is it a issue on my end?
I'll check back later on and see if the problem still

Wed, December 4, 2019 @ 11:20 AM

45. wrote:
Hey there! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website with us so I came to take a look.
I'm definitely loving the information. I'm book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers!

Superb blog and great style and design.

Fri, December 6, 2019 @ 6:21 AM

46. wrote:
This article is truly a pleasant one it helps new the web users, who are wishing for blogging.

Sat, December 7, 2019 @ 7:02 AM

47. wrote:
I visited multiple websites but the audio quality for audio songs existing at this site is
truly superb.

Sun, December 29, 2019 @ 4:18 PM

48. wrote:
I was able to find good info from your blog articles.

Wed, January 1, 2020 @ 7:49 AM

49. wrote:
First off I want to say terrific blog! I had a quick question in which I'd like to ask if you do not mind.
I was interested to know how you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing.

I have had a tough time clearing my thoughts in getting
my thoughts out there. I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints?

Tue, January 7, 2020 @ 8:10 AM

50. wrote:
Hi there colleagues, its enormous post concerning teachingand fully explained, keep it up all
the time.

Wed, January 8, 2020 @ 6:14 AM

51. wrote:
It's amazing to visit this web site and reading the
views of all mates about this article, while I am
also eager of getting know-how.

Tue, January 14, 2020 @ 1:05 AM

52. wrote:
What's up friends, how is the whole thing, and what you would like to say concerning this
article, in my view its in fact awesome in support of me.

Wed, February 12, 2020 @ 10:42 PM

53. wrote:

Mon, February 24, 2020 @ 11:38 AM

Add a New Comment


Comment Guidelines: No HTML is allowed. Off-topic or inappropriate comments will be edited or deleted. Thanks.

Learn More:

Learn more about NABI membership or if you have a question about importing an alcohol beverage into the United States, please do not hesitate to call us at (202) 393-6224.