On Thursday, October 14, 2016, Jean Kroll, founder of Sugar and Spice Bakery, was among a class of twenty business owners inducted into the Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. Kroll was recognized for her 17 years of success in crafting an artisan product -- indulgent, classic sweet treats with thoughtfully sourced ingredients for clients in the foodservice and retail channels.
Kroll was also celebrated for her passion for supporting and mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs. Most recently, Jean has expanded her focus to the inclusion of young adults with disabilities in the workplace. As part of a Coleman Foundation grant-funded program involving Have Dreams, a local autism resource organization, Jean runs a workplace training program for young adults with autism. She employs two of the program's graduates in her bakery and is demonstrating that these talented individuals can add real economic value to a business.
Also inducted were Jeff and Tony Dreyfuss, co-founders of Metropolis Coffee, a small batch artisan coffee roaster which has partnered with Coleman Foundation grantee Aspire to establish Aspire CoffeeWorks where individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities work alongside Metropolis employees with 100% of net proceeds of sales supporting Aspire services.
In the early 1980s while serving in a professorship at the University of Illinois at Chicago endowed by the Coleman Foundation, Gerald E. Hills conceived and began building a community Chicago entrepreneurs -- bridging between the university and Chicago business leaders who exemplified successful entrepreneurship. For 31 years since, the Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame has celebrated outstanding entrepreneurs whose contributions have had enduring commercial and social impact, fostered a thriving diversified economic engine, enhanced our communities, and brought transformative innovations to life.
The Hall of Fame began awarding the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994 with the first recipient being John Hughes, founder of his own accounting firm, former CEO of Fannie May Candies and former President and CEO of the Coleman Foundation.