Like all American stories, it began across an ocean. . .
As a young man, Nemer Kaleel crossed the ocean from his homeland of Lebanon to “shovel gold off the streets in America. Arriving in 1905, Nemer passed through Ellis Island to begin his “peddling” career in Spring Valley, Illinois.
It’s amazing how much can fit into a suitcase . . .
First by foot, then by a horse wagon, then a buggy to a new Ford truck in the 1920’s, Nemer, with his suitcase packed with goods to sell, called on many families throughout LaSalle, Putnam & Bureau counties. And in 1939, Kaleel’s Clothing arrived at 112 South Ottawa Street in Earlville, Illinois as their first brick & mortar storefront.
He was the bearer of a tradition of customer service . . .
figure out what people need, give them what they want & let them know you care. Share your time and attention. And in the work of his children & grandchildren, Nemer built a respectable business and a proud legacy.
The legacy lives on . . .
Nemer’s oldest son, Louis Kaleel, managed the store in Earlville & in the early 70’s branched out on his own venture & opened the first All-American Male in Sandwich, Illinois (1973 - 1988). It was upon Louis’ son, Greg Kaleel’s, college graduation that the two set their roots on Main Street in Oswego, Illinois. And in 1988, Louis’s daughter, Deena, joined the family business.
In 1996, Greg & Deena joined forces & moved to their current location, 27 Main Street (formerly the Jacqueline Shop) to house American Male, Editions Sportswear, Bella-gia Boutique & the Prom Shoppe.
People have always responded to the Kaleel’s in an emotional way. Over the years, farmers, housewives, union officials, professionals, & executives of corporations have built relationships of trust with the Kaleels. Over the decades, as the needs of the customers have changed and business has expanded, the tradition of customer service carries on.