Archive for category Charitable Initiatives

Eli’s Cheesecake Supports The Lynn Sage Foundation

Eli’s Cheesecake is proud to support The Lynn Sage Foundation each October, and we’re kicking off the month with the cutest pink desserts.

The Lynn Sage Foundation is a breast cancer research initiative and philanthropic organization internationally known for supporting state-of-the-art patient care, exceptional educational outreach programs and the kind of revolutionary research that brings us closer to a cure. The program continues to provide women and their families access to the most up-to-date technological and medical advances in the field of breast cancer.

Each October, The Foundation hosts Chicago’s In Good Taste, a city-wide event partnering with nearly 200 restaurants to raise money for the Lynn Sage Scholars Program. Eli’s will donate 20% of your pink purchase, including pink ribbon cupcakes, a pink rosette layer cake and pink ribbon cookies, to the cause.

Shop for pink desserts all October in our Bakery Café.

Eli's Supports the Lynn Sage Foundation

Eli’s Supports the Lynn Sage Foundation

Chicago's In Good Taste 2018

Chicago’s In Good Taste 2018

Eli’s Attends Annual Gala for Chicago Help Initiative

Last week, Eli’s participated in The Chicago Help Initiative‘s (CHI) Annual Fundraiser “Chicago Recipes” to raise funds to support their free weekly meals and programs for Chicagoans in need and experiencing homelessness. The event featured bite size samples from Eli’s and other Chicago restaurants in addition to auction items and raffle prizes.


The Chicago Help Initiative (CHI) is a consortium of business, residential, religious, social services, institutional and volunteer leaders striving to promote an atmosphere of dignity and compassion toward those in need by providing access to food, health services, shelter and employment.

The Eli’s Cheesecake Compant has been a long time supporter of CHI. Check out this video of Eli’s President Marc Schulman on what this organization has meant to Eli’s:

To volunteer, donate or learn more about the Chicago Help Initiative, please visit their website:




Eli’s at Green City Market Chef BBQ 2017

We were honored to once again participate in Green City Market’s Annual Chef BBQ last night, serving over 1000 cheesecake bites to market guests.   Green City Market is Chicago’s largest farmer’s market, selling locally-farmed products in Lincoln Park. Its goal is to provide a marketplace for purchasing sustainably grown food and to educate, promote, and connect farmers and local producers directly to chefs, restaurateurs and the greater Chicago community. The Chef BBQ (this year marked the 17th annual) is Green City Market’s largest annual fundraiser which benefits their year-round farmer’s markets, education programs, and food access initiatives.

Eli’s Chefs Diana Moles and Juanita Chajon prepared a stunning fresh goat’s milk cheesecake, baked on a salty almond crust and​ topped with ​fresh apples sauteed with butter and cinnamon, served with house made honey-ginger sauce.

green city 2017

Enjoy Eli’s at CAD’s Crystal Ball

Mark your calendar for the Chicago Art Department’s Crystal Ball Fundraiser, Saturday May 13th, 7-11pm. Eli’s is a proud sponsor of this event, which is an evening of art, performance and learning. Guests will enjoy food, live workshops and an art auction. Buy tickets here.

Chicago Art Department, located in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, aims to benefit artists by exploring art and learning. Through exhibitions, artist residencies,  classes/workshops,  and community building, they are dedicated to cultivating new voices, ideas, and practices in contemporary art.

Eli’s & The Chicago Help Initiative Dinner

On March 15th, Eli’s chefs and volunteers will serve dinner to those in need at the Chicago Help Initiative (CHI).

CHI began in November of 1999 when local Realtor Jacqueline B. Hayes invited various volunteers from her community to work together to provide for the increasing number of homeless in the area.  CHI provides access to food, health services, shelter and employment, and educates our neighbors on how to help the homeless and disadvantaged, with dignity and compassion. Eli’s has been honored to provide food for this event for the past 14 years!

Visit the Chicago Help Initiative to learn more. Special thanks to Eli’s volunteers for donating your time to this worthy event: Chef Antonio, Elsa, Mary, Sharon, Dora, Juana, Maria, Marc & Maureen.


Eli's at CHI

The Eli’s Team serving at CHI last year

Eli’s Cheesecake at 2016 GNMAA Gala



On Friday, May 13, 2016 Eli’s Cheesecake participated in GNMAA Magnificent Mile’s Annual Gala, “Mad About the Mile.” The Mag Mile’s Annual Gala serves as a fundraiser to provide grants and other financial awards to educational programs as well as neighborhood causes in The Magnificent Mile Neighborhood. It is one of the largest fundraisers of the year!  Eli’s has been a proud attendee for the past couple of years and this year, Eli’s Cheesecake provided a wide selection of desserts for the attendees. Eli’s provided three classic cheesecakes–Original Plain, Chocolate Chip, and Strawberry. Aside from  cheesecakes, Eli’s provided cuties for dessert–our house made Fudge Brownie, Michigan Cherry Oat Bar, and 7-layer Coconut bar.

Check out some of the photos from the event:

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Refugee One’s Annual Gala

On Saturday, April 2nd, The Eli’s Cheesecake company participated in Refugee One‘s Many Voices One Vision Gala. The Gala was a celebration for the people and companies who help refugees attain jobs and develop their careers, as well as highlight the success stories of many refugees. This year, the Eli’s Cheesecake Company’s CEO, Marc Schulman, received the Many Voices. One Vision. Award for being a champion for hiring hard-working refugees for more than twenty-five years.

Attending the event was Eli’s associate, Elias Kasongo. He, along with many others, has developed his career with Eli’s. WBEZ CHICAGO recently did an interview with him and Marc Schulman, which you can listen to here. Kasongo spoke about his life and the 22 years that he has been working for Eli’s Cheesecake. Kasongo came to Chicago from the Democratic Republic of Congo in June 1994.  Through Refugee One, he was connected to The Eli’s Cheesecake Company and received his first U.S. job. He was able to work his way up from working in the dish room, to becoming product purchasing manager.

Schulman spoke about his policy of hiring refugees. He believes that, “refugees are a very important part of who we are.” He believes that refugees are as much as part of the community as anyone else. They are “important contributors.” Additionally, he stressed that at Eli’s, “we consider ourselves a family [and] are successful because of the great associates we have.” March Schulman stressed the importance of hiring refugees and people with disabilities and responded to some of the negative discourse behind it. He believes that these workers are some of the hardest workers. Schulman holds his father’s, Eli M. Schulman, words, “treat others as if you were the other,” close, which is why at Eli’s, everyone is treated equally.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, similarly praises Eli’s Cheesecake for hiring refugees who need work.

March Schulman and Elias Kasongo.

March Schulman and Elias Kasongo.

Eli’s Welcomes UN High Commissioner Filippo Grandi and RefugeeOne

Eli’s had the pleasure to welcome UN High Commissioner Filippo Grandi of UNHCR and many other officials of RefugeeOne today, March 18th.

Filippo Grandi became the 11th United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on January 1st, 2016. He was elected by the UN General Assembly to serve a five-year term, until December 31st, 2020. Grandi is responsible for of all refugee affairs in the world, and his visit to us Eli’s was greatly appreciated. The visit was a special opportunity for Eli’s associates to share their stories with not only our guests, but with each other.

High Commissioner Filippo Grandi tours Eli's Bakery and chats with associates

High Commissioner Filippo Grandi tours Eli’s Bakery and chats with associates

At Eli’s Cheesecake, we are very proud of our long time partnership with RefugeeOne, the largest full service refugee settlement agency in Illinois. RefugeeOne is a refugee resettlement agency that provides a full range of services to refugees resettled in the Chicago area. Without RefugeeOne, we would would have never met Elias Kasongo, who came to Eli’s Cheesecake in 1994, at the age of 22, after being held for 4 years in a refugee camp in Zambia after leaving his home in the Congo. Over those years, Elias has gone from the dish room to becoming Purchasing & Materials Manager with a degree from Northeastern Illinois University, having a beautiful family and now a home owner. Elias now sits on the Board ofDirectors for RegueeOne and  was a keynote speaker at the 2014 RefugeeOne Gala.

Eli’s is proud to have a number of associates whose lives have been aided by RefugeeOne, and looks forward to continuing our longtime partnership with the Organization.

Eli's Elias Kasongo with Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner

Eli’s Elias Kasongo with Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner

We were delighted to welcome the following guests:

  • Filippo Grandi, High Commissioner UNHCR Geneva
  • Chiara Cardoletti-Carroll, Deputy Regional Representative, UNHCR Washington
  • Brian Hansford, Senior Media Officer, UNHCR Washington
  • Larry Yungk, Senior Resettlement Officer, UNHCR Washington
  • Joshua Lott, Photographer
  • Ngoan Le, Illinois State Refugee Coordinator, Illinois Department of Human Services
  • Melineh Kano, Executive Director, RefugeeOne
  • Mark Youtem, Senior Case Manager, RefugeeOne


Eli’s Cheesecake at the 2015 BMW Championship

Eli’s Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake

Eli’s Cheesecake is proud to be served at the 2015 BMW Championship (formerly known as the Western Tournament) with all tournament proceeds benefiting the Evans Scholars Foundation.  It is the second oldest golf tournament in the United States and will be held Sept. 14-20 at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Illinois .

Eli’s Cheesecake Around Town

It’s been a big week for Eli’s Cheesecake around Chicago.  On Sunday, we rolled out the red carpet and served dessert at the Gene Siskel Film Center for the “Hollywood on State” 2015 Oscar award viewing. 

 On Tuesday, we served Eli’s Cheesecake on election night, we celebrated the success of Leadbelly Burger’s mash-up fundraiser for the Sunshine Activity Center, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the development of life skills in persons with developmental disabilities.

Check awarded to the Sunshine Activity Center, a not-for-profit organization

Check awarded to the Sunshine Activity Center, a not-for-profit organization

Leadbelly Burgers created an Eli’s Cheesecake beignet made with Eli’s Cheesecake and Leadbelly’s fresh bread dough. Leadbelly Burger donated half of the proceeds from their beignet dessert sales to the Sunshine Activity Center and Eli’s Cheesecake matched their donation.


We also had the 94.7 WLS Radio Prize Patrol visit the Eli’s Cheesecake Bakery giving away CD’s, concert tickets, t-shirts, key chains and more. Then, it was off to election night to serve Eli’s Cheesecake while waiting for the results.

Wednesday night we celebrated The Chicago Help Initiative’s 15th anniversary of serving meals to those in need! Eli’s provided and served dinner and dessert by volunteers from The Eli’s Cheesecake Company.

Using our own recipes from our restaurant, we  prepared the following menu:

Eli’s Table Surprise – iced vegetable and pickle crudité
Roast tenderloin of beef with demi-gloss
Creamy potato and caramelized onion gratin
Sauté of carrot and green bean
Dressed warm spinach salad with crisp bacon, candied red onion and egg
Eli’s the Place bread basket -rye, fennel, soft roll, bagel chip
Anniversary cheesecake

Thursday night Eli’s Cheesecake and desserts will be served at the annual James Tyree Foundation benefit. 
The Foundation supports educational endeavors that foster creativity and innovation to improve the lives of people in the Chicagoland area. 

Looking ahead to the weekend, we will be at the Love of Chocolate event on Saturday and the 2nd annual Eli’s and O’Briens Irish Cheesecake Bake-Off to benefit Mercy Home for Boys & Girls  on Sunday, March 1st.  Stay tuned for photos and updates. It may be freezing in Chicago, but we are warming hearts around “my kind of town”!