By Danielle Corriveau
Jon Schlegel, co-founder of the sweetly successful Snooze restaurants, longed to go to the University of Denver. Between classes and playing soccer for the school, he paid his way through via work-study jobs, grants and gigs at local restaurants. Yet, he wouldn’t be a Pioneer without the scholarships he received from caring donors.
“All this crazy hard work and education has paid off, monumentally. I can return the favor. And, I want to do it tenfold.”
He’s on track with that aim. Along with sharing his resources, Jon lends his expertise to the Knoebel School of Hospitality Management Advisory Board and engages directly with the programs of the Knoebel School.
“Twenty years ago someone looked out for me, gave me a shot, helped me out with tuition. The next thing you know I graduated and now I am able to give back. It’s fantastic,” he reveals with a huge grateful grin. “Everything that happened at DU brought me here.”
By here, he means beautiful Barolo, Italy.
He’s three months into a two-year stay with his wife and three-year-old son and is as effervescent about the adventure as a bottle of Prosecco. It’s the study abroad trip he wasn’t able to afford as an undergraduate. He’s getting his hands dirty, working with locals he now knows like family, taking photos of restaurants, going on wine tours, studying menus and savoring the culture. Everyday he strolls through the expansive vineyard that is his backyard to study the grapes.
His awe at his life and helping others is as delightful as Snooze’s BanaNutella Pancakes: “I can’t believe I get to do this for a living. It’s hospitality. It’s food. It’s taking care of people, including DU students beginning their journey. I’m fortunate to have gone through one of the top five hospitality programs in the nation. It’s a sweet win.”
If you want to learn more, please contact the office of
Donor Relations & Stewardship at 303.871.2699.