Spirit of the Women's Hall of Fame
Ingrid Croce has demonstrated a passion for life and a belief in the vitality of San Diego. After a career as a musician and performer and the tragic death of her husband, songwriter Jim Croce, Ingrid flourished in San Diego as an entrepreneur, restaurateur, author, publisher and philanthropist. Starting in the early 1970s she led the movement to revamp San Diego's run-down, historic Gaslamp district. A pioneer in the redevelopment of downtown San Diego, Ingrid could proudly point to the hundreds of restaurants, bars, shops, and hotels located in this vibrant community which serves as a national model. In 1985, she opened Croce's Restaurant and Jazz Bar at the corner of 5th and F in honor of her late husband.
Her passion for San Diego's Gaslamp led her to launch one of the city's most successful events--San Diego Restaurant Week! Twice a year the event draws 250,000 guests and 150 participating restaurants. Following this success, Ingrid produced a television pilot titled The Restaurant Week Travel Show. Shifting her community efforts, Ingrid helped raise $250,000 for the prevention of life-threatening pediatric diseases. Her work earned her the City of Hope's Spirit of Life Award, the organization's highest philanthropic honor. Ingrid also reached out to the community through the production of A Celebration of Women Chefs. She developed a food service/hospitality and tourism curriculum for the SD Unified School District and Mesa College; worked with the Center for Community Solutions to help rape crisis and domestic violence victims; and raised money for AIDS organizations through Croce, Rock, Nelson Productions.
In 2005 Ingrid established Avalanche Records and Books, creating and authoring Time In A Bottle, The San Diego Restaurant Cookbook and Thyme In A Bottle. She has served as co-producer and producer on several projects including: VH1's Behind the Music special on Jim Croce, the Have You Heard Jim Croce Live DVD, TNN's The Jim Croce Life & Times, and three CDs:Jim Croce, Home Recordings, Americana; Facets; and Have You Heard Jim Croce Live. Sh ealso has developed a film script about Croce's life and work. Ingrid Croce's life embodies the essence of culture and community development.