Certified Grocers, with its iconic chubby little butcher as a mascot, was a well-known name around the greater Chicago area. However, Certified Grocers wasn't your typical supermarket chain. Rather Certified was a cooperative of hundreds of independent grocers working together to compete with the big chains in Chicago — namely National, A&P and Krogers. In 1940, some 50 small, mom-and-pop grocery stores banded together and formed the Certified Grocers brand as a way to to harness the buying and advertising power of a larger chain, while maintaining their individual ownership. The Certified chain grew and the Certified name lasted for decades — in later years, it was known under the banner Certisaver Supermarkets. In 2008, Certified merged its roughly 200 stores with the Central Grocers cooperative and, alas, the Certified Grocers brand disappeared.