The Illinois Retail Merchants Association honored Groceries of Southern Illinois as the 2022 Illinois Retailer of the Year during the group’s 65th annual meeting Thursday at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago.
Headquartered in Columbia, Groceries of Southern Illinois serves as the anchor of a retail and business conglomerate led by entrepreneur Joe Koppeis, who owns and operates more than 30 businesses throughout Southern Illinois.
Beginning in 1988 with the construction of The Market Place, a nearly 45,000 square foot supermarket in Columbia that was later sold to Schnucks Markets, Koppeis’ retail endeavors now include grocery stores, shopping centers, office buildings, hardware stores, pizza franchises, pharmacies, hotels and a five million square foot underground commercial development in Valmeyer known as Rock City.
Several new projects are in the works, including a 150-megawatt wind farm, a 21-acre professional center and a 12,000 square foot restaurant.
With a wide array of retail businesses and developments throughout Southern Illinois, Koppeis and his team seek out and cultivate opportunities based on a true entrepreneurial spirit and a foundation of customer service. In the process, Koppeis helps transform communities by spurring investment and economic growth in areas of the state where opportunities are often less plentiful than in the past.
“Joe is a true retail entrepreneur, who started by mopping floors at a grocery store as a teenager to becoming one of the most successful merchants in Southern Illinois. Joe understands the importance our industry plays in people’s lives and how investment can build stronger communities, and generously supports countless community programs and nonprofits,” said IRMA President and CEO Rob Karr. “On behalf of retailers across Illinois, we are proud to recognize Joe with this award, and thank him for his dedication and tireless work.”
“It is an honor to receive this recognition, which I would like to share with my family and employees, whose support and commitment have helped drive our success,” Koppeis said.
“I enjoy helping people, whether that’s making sure customers have access to the food and medicine they need or providing jobs and opportunities to allow people to stay in Illinois. It’s those accomplishments that excite me most, and I appreciate the Illinois Retail Merchants Association for their advocacy on behalf of retailers across Illinois to help make them happen.”