• May 23, 2017, 12:02 PM

Gurnee Recognizes Outstanding Businesses with “Best of Gurnee” Awards

GURNEE, IL – The Village of Gurnee has named Tina’s Italian Café & Bake Shop (5101 Washington Street, Suite #14A) and Suzy’s Swirl (6310 Grand Avenue) as the Spring 2017 Best of Gurnee Award Recipients.

Inspired by Village of Gurnee Trustee Tom Hood in 2016 as a way to recognize businesses that go above and beyond to support their customers and the community, nominations are accepted year-round for businesses that exemplify the absolute Best of Gurnee. The program is managed by the Village’s Economic Development Committee under the leadership of Trustee Karen Thorstenson. Nominations are accepted in two categories - “Bringing Me Home” and “Pay It Forward”.

“The Bringing Me Home award is intended to recognize a business that fosters community pride by infusing excellence into its business operations with evidence of long-term, sustained commitment to its customers and the community” said Kristina Kovarik, Mayor of the Village of Gurnee. “Tina’s Italian Café & Bake Shop exemplifies this perfectly and has become a Gurnee staple.”

Tina’s Italian Café & Bake Shop has been operating in Gurnee for over 16 years.  Owner Tina Tortorici serves home-cooked Sicilian meals to her customers, whom Tina considers “family”. 

The Pay It Forward award acknowledges a business that is recognizing needs within its community and is meeting them head on.    Multiple nominations from organizations as diverse as the College of Lake County (CLC) and JDRF confirmed that Suzy’s Swirl exemplifies the spirit of good corporate citizenship that inspired this award.

Representatives from the College of Lake County, in nominating Suzy’s Swirl, noted the business’ donation of time and funds. “Suzy's Swirl partnered with our Business Administration faculty to develop the annual CLC Student Big Idea Event as the first of its kind at the College, to promote creativity and innovation among CLC students. Suzy’s Swirl sponsors the event by generously donating their time, ideas, and over $800 annually in prizes for students.”

The next round of Best of Gurnee awards will be presented in Fall 2017.  Nominations are accepted year-round, and all previous nominations are considered. To nominate a business for a Best of Gurnee award, fill out the application at




Tina Tortorici and Sue Tierno
Trustee Karen Thorstenson and Mayor Kristina Kovarik with Sue Tierno of Suzy's Swirl
Mayor Kovarik and owners of Tina's Italian Cafe & Bake Shop