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Gloria Jean Kvetko who founded Gloria Jean’s Coffees 45 years ago dies at 82

Gloria Jean Kvetko who founded Gloria Jean’s Coffees 45 years ago dies at 82

June 28 - 2024

Coffee Geography Magazine


Gloria Jean Kvetko who founded the international brand Gloria Jean’s Gourmet Coffees, has died at the age of 82. Great coffee was the driving passion for Gloria Jean Kvetko since 1979. From the first store that was opened by Kvetko in Chicago, Illinois to the 600+ stores across 40 countries in operation today, Kvetko has created a band very unique and still growing coffee company. 

She opened her first shop in historic downtown Long Grove in 1979, intending it as a stand-alone family business. But the venture grew into a nationwide presence of more than 220 stores before she sold the company in 1993 to a buyer that took it aggressively international. 

Even after selling, Kvetko maintained an ambassadorial relationship with the company and its fans. 

She loved coffee with the passion that runs deep and never goes away. Her first business venture a beauty shop in Wheeling in the mid-1970s. But it was the coffee shop she bought a few years later that changed her and her family’s life. 

The next steps came when first Northbrook Court and then Woodfield Mall asked her to open shops in their malls. And then it just went from there, starting flavored coffee. Kvetko just hit it at the right time without expecting hundreds of stores in Australia.” Kvetko’s later role as an ambassador for the brand didn’t include appearances at most new openings, but she was a popular guest at a Gloria Jean’s convention in Hawaii, and in 2017 she attended the brand’s return to the Stratford Square Mall in Bloomingdale. 

A visitation will be held at 3:30 p.m. Friday, June 28, until a memorial service starting at 7 p.m. at Glueckert Funeral Home, 1520 N. Arlington Heights Road in Arlington Heights. Interment will take place privately at Memory Gardens Cemetery in Arlington Heights.