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updated: 6/6/2011 11:55 AM

Elk Grove baker raising cane about food legislation

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  • Ken and wife Kathy Jarosch, owners of Jarosch Bakery in Elk Grove Village.

    Ken and wife Kathy Jarosch, owners of Jarosch Bakery in Elk Grove Village.

  • Greg Zanis in front of his electric car prototype, the Zanis 1.

    Greg Zanis in front of his electric car prototype, the Zanis 1.
    Image courtesy of Zanis Corp.

  • Sunjay Gorawara

    Sunjay Gorawara

  • Jeff Neidorf of Naperville

    Jeff Neidorf of Naperville

  • Elizabeth Carter

    Elizabeth Carter

  • Alex Bratton, CEO of Lisle-based Lextech

    Alex Bratton, CEO of Lisle-based Lextech


Ken Jarosch of Elk Grove Village ordinarily raises bread. Now, the bakery owner is raising cane -- er, issues -- and won his first battle in Springfield. He never expected to be in the midst of a political debate on defeating a bill involving trans fats. Now, he's taking on the cost of sugar.

The third-generation owner of Jarosch's Bakery and president of the Chicago Area Retail Bakers Association had his first foray into politics by opposing House Bill 1600. The bill sought to remove trans fats from foods made in Illinois and was approved in the House.

But after Jarosch and his fellow bakers showed up to provide testimony and information on ingredients, the bill failed in the Senate 13-40.

The bill's sponsor, Chicago Democratic Sen. Donne Trotter was then presented with a cupcake, but not by Jarosch.

"I'm not that bold, especially in politics," said Jarosch.

Jarosch said the initial bill intended to keep trans fats out of food in schools. But an amended version wanted trans fats out of all food in Illinois.

Well, bakers use a lot of shortening and margarine, all considered trans fats. If the bill passed, they would have had to drastically alter recipes or eliminate certain products, which would affect their bottom lines. Ironically, the bill would have made bakers rely on lard or butter instead, Jarosch said, since those are not trans fats but are saturated fats.

The experience taught Jarosch that politics isn't for cream puffs. He has a newfound respect for the work lawmakers do. But he's also concerned that legislators depend heavily on information they're provided because they cannot be experts on everything.

Now, 10th District Republican Congressman Robert Dold has asked Jarosch to be part of a round-table discussion on Thursday, June 9, on how the cost of sugar is so much higher here than if it's bought overseas.

Jarosch never considered himself a reformer. But he'll do what he can, just like his work with the bakers association. Even though his term was supposed to end more than a year ago, the group rewrote its bylaws to keep him in the top spot even longer. "This could be indefinite," Jarosch laughed.

Move over, veteran investors

Sunjay Gorawara of Buffalo Grove may be just 21, but he's already being honored for his financial strategies. Gorawara, an undergrad majoring in finance, economic consulting and public policy at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, won first place at the Ira Sohn Investment Conference in New York. He was interviewed on CNBC. And he's interning at -- where else? -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. as an analyst in the investment banking division.

The Zanis 1 is coming

Greg Zanis of Sugar Grove is more known as the carpenter who builds crosses and plants them in spots of tragedy, like the Northern Illinois University campus shootings or the Lane Bryant store killings a few years ago. Now, he's formed Zanis Corp. and built his first electric car prototype, called the Zanis 1. The pyramid-styled vehicle uses solar energy, has bulletproof glass and features gel-filled tires for a smoother ride. He said he plans to crash test some vehicles this summer and has outlined an aggressive strategy to roll out the vehicle to consumers over the next few years. Now, if he could just get investors with about $30 million ...


Jeff Neidorf of Naperville will join the business technology consulting practice as director at Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP in Chicago. ... Naperville copywriter Elizabeth Carter has been honored with a Gold Award by the 2011 Hermes Creative Awards Competition for her brochure for the nonprofit theater group Fair Lady Productions, as well as an honorable mention for the website of The Social Network. ... Alex Bratton, CEO of Lisle-based Lextech talked about "Making money with mobile computing" at The Executive Club of Chicago's Technology Summit last week.

• There's more to business than just the bottom line. We want to tell you about the people that make business work. I'm Anna Marie Kukec and I'd like to hear from you. Send news about people in business to Follow me on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter.