Vanille’s Sophie Evanoff Awarded 2016 James Tyree Emerging Business Award

Sophie Evanoff, president and CEO of the famed Chicago patisserie, Vanille, was awarded the 2016 James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award by The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce at its 112th Annual Meeting. The award includes $50,000, courtesy of Mesirow Financial and The PrivateBank.

“I am so honored to be recognized by The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and winning the James Tyree Award is a true testament that following your dream is the most rewarding journey,” said Evanoff.

Since buying Vanille in 2011 on a “gut instinct”, Sophie has already executed a national contract with an international retailer, opened two new Vanille locations, and launched nationwide shipping from a new online boutique. Evanoff has successfully succeeded her lifelong dream of owning and managing her own pastry shop, and this award is a symbol for all of the hard work and creativity Sophie has poured into Vanille.

“We are so excited to announce Sophie Evanoff as the winner of our fifth annual Tyree Award,” said Theresa E. Mintle, President and CEO of the Chicagoland Chamber. “Vanille is a true Chicago business story, with a passionate leader who has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to her community and the city of Chicago. Coincidentally, Sophie is our first-ever female Tyree Award winner, which is just the icing on the cake.”

By reviving a depressed bakery into a potential national brand, Evanoff continues to create jobs and economic investment in Chicago’s neighborhoods. Sophie has expanded in Lincoln Park, opened a third store in Lakeview, and has launched nationwide shopping from a new online boutique. Sophie’s success is powered by her creativity and ability to surround herself with the right people.

Staffed with a team of classically trained pastry chefs, Vanille offers its entire line of artisanal desserts and pastries, including delicious entremets, luscious tarts, handmade chocolates and candies, the ever-popular French macarons, freshly baked croissants and one-of-a-kind cakes at its three Chicago shops. For more information on Vanille, please call773.868.4574 or visit

About Vanille

Founded in 2002, Vanille specializes in French-inspired artisanal pastries, desserts, and cakes. Owned and operated by Sophie Evanoff, Vanille prides itself on its premier quality and taste. From the ever-popular French macarons to the freshly baked croissants and handmade chocolates and candies, every creation shows Vanille’s true dedication to its craft. Vanille currently operates three Chicago locations; one at 2108 N. Clark St. in Lincoln Park, one at the French Market located inside Ogilvie Metra Station at 131 N. Clinton Ave and a third store, which opened in early 2016, at 3243 N. Broadway in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. For more information, visit

About the James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award

The Chicagoland Chamber in partnership with Mesirow Financial launched the James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award in 2012 in honor of Jim Tyree, former Chairman and CEO of Mesirow Financial and Chairman of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce from 2007-2010. The award is presented annually to a fast-growing emerging business with philanthropic values.

About the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce represents over 1,000 member companies, their 400,000 employees, and over $24 billion in revenue. We combine the power of our membership with our legacy of leadership and business advocacy to drive a dynamic economy. We focus on delivering value for our members, making Chicagoland a world-class place to live and work. Visit