For 25 years, Eli’s Cheesecake has been fortunate to be the number one vendor in portions sold at the Taste of Chicago. The number of slices sold at Taste alone now approaches two million slices.

It is a Herculean effort to stage the Taste of Chicago for Eli’s each year. First, we have to be ready with enough slices, Dippers and Smoosh’s so that we don’t run out. That takes over 10 days of production. Second, we have to staff the booth and that has become generational as our associates in the early years are now having their children work in our booth for Taste. We have great alumni from Taste including Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan who worked for Eli’s when in high school at Taste and is today Illinois’ top legal officer.

Today was the training session for our Taste Staff for 2005. We have an outstanding group of associates, both new and old, who will the customer’s experience at Taste the best possible. The meeting today was chaired by Lisa Ripka (second to the left) and Mike Neuhaus (to Lisa’s right) who have been critical to Eli’s success at Taste since 1991 and 1993 respectively. They perform all the important managerial work at Taste while staying on top of all of the other opportunities for Eli’s in sales and operations.

Lisa and Mike are joined by Hilda Carrillo (far left), our Cafe Co-Manager, and a Manager of Taste going back to 1989, and Laura Rosiles, one of Eli’s first associates on Dakin Street, who managed the Taste back in 1984. Laura today attended the training session because her child is working for us at 2005.

When you enjoy your slice of Eli’s Cheesecake at Taste, at Eli’s Cheesecake World, or anywhere in the world, it is the dedication and long term commitment of Hilda, Lisa, Mike and Laura and their many associates who helped Eli’s grow and who will continue to work to make Eli’s Number One.