It seems like yesterday; that Thursday in mid-May in 1985 when our long time friend and Senior Sales Executive, Walter Babian, drove up on the then far smaller McCormick Place in Chicago. It was our first time in THE SHOW–The National Restaurant Association Show and we were so excited to be able to show our cheesecake to the hospitality industry.
The relationship between Eli’s, the NRA Show and Chicago has been a very sweet one over the past 22 years as we have used this four day selling opportunity to preview new products (see the article by Janet Fuller in the Sun Times today) and to meet customers and prospects from around the world.
Today it takes a team of 50 people to support our efforts in connection with the NRA Show. We are grateful for the hard work of our team at Elis, for the fine broker organization that represents us around the world, and the customers who share our passion for Eli’s Quality and Innovation.
Restaurant show offers big scoops
May 21, 2006
Thinking ‘on a small basis’
Cheesecake seems to be in abundance at the show, from deep-fried cheesecake bites to cutesy 3-inch cheesecakes in flavors such as dulce de leche and key lime.
Local favorite Eli’s Cheesecake is coming out with a whopping 11 new products, from mango cheesecake to a Kentucky pecan bourbon tart.
One of its most notable new items is also its most simple — an artisanal cheesecake made with goat cheese from Wisconsin and Indiana farms and hand-pressed ricotta made in Chicago.
Eli’s has long taken a slow food approach to business, spokeswoman Debbie Marchok said. It has partnered with the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences to offer a dessert bar at Chicago area Starbucks stores, featuring honey from the school’s hives.
“We make a fair amount of product, but we think locally and on a small basis,” Eli’s president, Marc Schulman, said. “We don’t want to be a factory.”