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.

Easter Egg Roll at the White House

On Monday, March 28th, The Eli’s Cheesecake Company participated in the 138th annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House. The White House tradition dates back to 1878. This is the first time that Eli’s participates in this traditional event. Eli’s debuted a new and exclusive product for the event—Honeycomb Tart.

An estimated total of over 35,000 people attended the event, and Eli’s made sure to have enough product, so much so that a forklift was required to deliver the product. A special thanks goes to associates Elsa and Veronica Gomez for being the face of Eli’s at this event.

 

 

Here’s a closer look at the fun:

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

 

New Cheesecake Alert

We are proud to introduce our newest addition to our cheesecake family

 

This cheesecake was created by Illinois resident, Rebekah Baer, winner of our 3rd annual Eli’s and O’Briens “Cheesecake with an Irish Twist” Bake-off contest. The recipe includes Granny smith apples baked on top of apple cider reduced cheesecake covered in caramel.  It is a three-layer cake: orange, white and green -to honor the Irish Flag.

Rebekah Baer and her winning cheesecake at O'Briens Restaurant.

Rebekah Baer and her winning cheesecake at O’Briens Restaurant.

Rebekah will receive our grand prize, a year’s supply of Eli’s Cheesecake. Her cheesecake will be featured and sold at the Eli’s Cheesecake Cafe, for $3 a slice, and at O’Briens throughout the month of March. All proceeds will benefit the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls

Eli’s admires all the creativity from the contestants who participated. A big THANK YOU to all those who participated. Here’s to next year! 

 

Chicago’s Flower & Garden Show

The Eli’s Cheesecake Company participated in the annual Chicago Flower & Garden show this past weekend. The show, which is located in Navy Pier’s Festival Hall and runs from March 12-20, 2016, features an array of garden and flower exhibits and outdoor displays.

On Friday, March 11, Eli’s participated in the opening gala, “Evening in Bloom,” for the show and served an assortment of desserts. On the table were: Original Plain Cheesecake, Original Plain Cheesecake with Raspberry sauce, and Honey Mediterranean Cheesecake slices, Salted Caramel Pretzel Bars, Michigan Cherry Oat Bars, and Chocolate Espresso Tarts.

The event consisted of tables featuring many Chicago restaurants and bakeries, a live DJ, a performance from a school choir, welcoming words from Bob Mariano, and endless fun. Eli’s Cheesecake was a crowd favorite that night. While everyone seemed to enjoy all our desserts, people could not stop raving about our Salted Caramel Pretzel Bars, so much so that they came back for seconds..and THIRDS!


 

Below are some photos from the event:

 


 

On Saturday, March 12, 2016, Eli’s Cheesecake Executive Pastry Chef, Laurel Boger, held a live demonstration, featuring our Belgian Chocolate Cheesecake Tarts from The Eli’s Cheesecake Cookbook, on the Mariano’s stage at the Show. Chef Laurel Boger always knows how to put on a good show as she actively engages with the audience.

After the demo, audience members had the opportunity to meet Laurel and ask her questions. Below are some more pictures from the event:

Upcoming March Events

1.) Wednesday, March 9th, 2016 – HELP Dinner

The Eli’s Cheesecake company will continue it’s 16 year tradition by serving dinner to The Chicago Help Initiative’s Wednesday dinner program from 5-7pm.

2.) Friday, March 11 & Thursday, March 12, 2016 – Chicago Flower & Garden Show

The Eli’s Cheesecake Company is proud to participate once again in the annual Chicago Flower and Garden Show. On Friday, March 11, Eli’s will provide dessert for the inaugural Gala, which will give a preview to the actual show. The preview offers a first-hand look at the Flower & Garden Show, which is presented by Mariano’s, and the proceeds will benefit local charities. The evening will consist of a variety of food from notable Chicago Restaurants and chefs along with specialty drinks.

On Saturday, March 12, 2016, Eli’s Executive Pastry Chef, Laurel Boger, will hold a live demo at 1:30 pm. Audience members will get the chance to sample cheesecake and learn some tips and tricks. Click here to purchase tickets to the event.

3.) Friday, March 18th, 2016 – TimeLine Theatre’s Gala

On Friday, March 18th, 2016, The Eli’s Cheesecake Company will provide dessert for TimeLine Theatre’s Anuual Gala Benefit. Proceeds for the event will benefit TimeLine Theatre and its programs. Click here to get information on tickets.

4.) Thursday, March 24th, 2016 – Good Food Festival & Conference

The Eli’s Cheesecake Company is proud to have President March Schulman participate as a conference Co-chair and guest speaker and tell the Eli’s story in the Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference at the UIC Forum. The Eli’s Cheesecake company will provide dessert for the conference in the early and late afternoon.Click here to purchase your tickets to the event.

Eli’s Celebrates the City of Chicago’s Birthday

Last Friday, March 4th, was the City of Chicago’s 179th birthday… and what’s a birthday party without cake?! Eli’s was privileged to make not one, but TWO, birthday cakes for the city! The first cheesecake was featured on Windy City Live, where the hosts Val Warner and Ryan Chiaverini were celebrating the wonderful Windy City. To see the clip from Windy City Live, featuring Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, click here. The second cheesecake was displayed and served at the City’s annual birthday party, hosted at none other than the Chicago History Museum.

WCL_ChiBdayCake

CcuNUydW8AEipTz

CcuGhChUkAALhHI

 

Serving Up Fun Times with Eli’s Cheesecake

The Eli’s Cheesecake Company has had a busy time with events the past few weeks!  On Monday, February 22nd, we hosted our brokers from Wisconsin and Ohio for an all-day sales meeting. This meeting led to positive comments on the Bakery and the people, which will pave the way to many opportunities in the months ahead. A special thanks to associates Lisa Ripka and Erin Acero for coordinating and all the support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Saturday, February 27th, The Eli’s Cheesecake CompanyIMG_7056 participated in the For the Love of Chocolate 2016′s Gala, Eye Candy: A Feast for the Senses at Chicago’s Union League Club. Associates who participated include: Lisa Feldman, Genesis Villarreal, Jolene Worthington. Eli’s Cheesecake president, Marc Schulman, along with his wife, Maureen and daughter, also attended the event. The annual Gala awards a scholarship to a student from The French Pastry School.  This is the number one event for bakery and chocolatiers in the Midwest and Eli’s looked so great! A special thank you to pastry chefs Diana Moles, Laurel Boger. Juanita, Alicia, and the rest of the R&D team for creating the amazing desserts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irish Bake-off Contest HollywoodOnState2016On Sunday, February 28th Eli’s participated in two events. The first event was the annual O’Brien’s Irish Bake-off. Associate Allyson Macino and Executive Pastry Chef Laurel Boger represented us at our 3rd Annual “Cheesecake with an Irish Twist” contest at O’Briens. We had a record 10 entries and it was a great community effort benefitting the Mercy Home for Boys & Girls.

On Sunday night, Eli’s Cheesecake was fortunate to create this year’s Hollywood on State–the official Oscar’s viewing Party in Chicago–cake for the Gene Siskel Film Center.

 

 

 

DowntonAbbey2016

This past Sunday, March 6th, Eli’s was honored to be able to attend the Downton Abbey®series finale party at the Driehaus Museum. To help celebrate the occasion, we created a special wedding cake, as well as served up treats to all the viewers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eli’s Cheesecake featured on WTTW

The Eli’s Cheesecake Cookbook continues to gain attention from various media outlets. This week, co-author, Maureen Schulman was featured on WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight” episode in which she reveals many secrets, fun facts, and personal anecdotes about The Eli’s Cheesecake Company, and the founder, Eli M. Schulman.

If you did not get a chance to see the video, you can click here to view it. Also, The folks at WTTW added the recipe for creating one of Eli’s best-selling cheesecakes–Salted Caramel.

The’s Eli’s Cheesecake Company is proud to be recognized as a Chicago dessert staple. As Mrs. Schulman states, The Eli’s Cheesecake revealed some of its secret recipes and tips to recreating a Chicago classic in order to continue to embrace Eli M. Schulman’s philosophy of “Charity won’t bust you.” Indeed, the Eli’s Cheesecake company welcomes the opportunity for individuals to experience recreating a Chicago signature dessert. For those who cannot come to the Bakery Cafe and purchase one in person, they have the opportunity to eat the best tasting cheesecake at the comfort of their own homes.

Share the Love

Valentine’s Day is more than just a holiday for those in love. At Eli’s Cheesecake, we believe that Valentine’s Day is a day to share the love, which is why we created the #SharethelovewithElis Twitter Giveaway.

When Eli’s debuted the #SharethelovewithEli’s Valentine’s Day Giveaway on Twitter, asking fans who they would share a box of Mini Belgian Chocolate Cheesecake Hearts with, Eli’s president Marc Schulman noticed one response in particular:

Lindsey Compton wrote “All People should feel loved, so I would give them away to the homeless on February 14th.”

The folks at Eli’s thought that was a great idea, so this Valentine’s Day, all across Chicago, over 2,500 people via Chicago Help Initiative, St. Cyprian Food Pantry, Joined Hands Food Pantry at St. John’s Lutheran Church Pantry, Southwest Chicago PADS and Pacific Garden Mission will feel the love and enjoy Eli’s Cheesecake.

Here’s how you can #Sharethelove: Shop online at shop.elicheesecake.com or call 800-ELI-CAKE. Order by 11am CT on February 11th to get your order in time for Valentine’s Day. Mini Belgian Hearts are $36.95 plus shipping for a box of 12. Also available:

 

 

 

White Chocolate Raspberry Heart-Shaped Cheesecake: Creamy white chocolate cheesecake topped with raspberry gelee and hand-piped whipped cream, $28.95 plus shipping, serves 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brownie Bites: Our decadent mini fudge brownies in a heart-shaped box, $26.95 plus shipping for a box of 25