Eli’s Celebrates a Successful First Day at the Taste of Chicago

Yesterday, we kicked off our 35th Birthday where it all began, the Taste of Chicago! We began the day with an early morning visit from Tanja Babich of ABC 7 Chicago and Commissioner Michelle Boone at our booth, located at the corner of Columbus and Jackson.  After, Marc went to go visit Eddie V’s Road Show, a weekly comedy podcast featuring Chicago Radio Legend Eddie Volkman, to talk about our longstanding history with the Taste and to give out some treats to Eddie and his audience.

After everyone finished wishing us a happy birthday, we went back to the major task at hand– prepping to feed the millions of people that come to the Taste every year! This year, we chose to serve our Original Plain Cheesecake with Strawberries, our Turtle Cheesecake, our Key Lime Cheesecake, our S’Mores Smoosh (S’Mores Cheesecake topped with ice cream) and our new 35th Birthday Dipper. Even though the festival is only one day in, Eli’s has already gotten some rave reviews. The Chicago Tribune called our S’Mores Smoosh “heaven” and said that “the mix of flavors, temperatures and textures was magic” and Time out Chicago featured our Birthday Dipper on their Instagram page.

Yesterday’s celebration didn’t stop at the Taste. We also sent our event team down to the Eli’s Cheesecake at O’Hare Airport to hand out free cheesecake to the weary travelers at United Terminal B and featured our Taste of Chicago flavors in=store at our Bakery Café. Be sure to stop in if you can’t make it down to the Taste.

We’re very happy with yesterday’s Taste of Chicago turn out and are excited to continue the celebration throughout the rest of the week. Cheers to a great opening day!

 

Time Out Chicago's shot of our Birthday Dipper.

Time Out Chicago’s shot of our Birthday Dipper.

Marc And Maureen Schulman at Eddie V's Roadshow.

Marc And Maureen Schulman at Eddie V’s Roadshow.

Mr. Slice greeting people at O'Hare airport.

Mr. Slice greeting people at O’Hare airport.

Tanja Babich visiting our Booth at the Taste of Chicago.

Tanja Babich visiting our Booth at the Taste of Chicago.

Eli Gears up for Taste of Chicago 2015

Eli’s is gearing up for an exciting 35th birthday at the Taste of Chicago! One of our favorite traditions is here again and this time it’s bigger than ever. Today, we put the finishing touches on our 1,500 pound Birthday Cheesecake that will be unveiled at the Taste of Chicago this Saturday. The cake will be made up of Eli’s original flavors, Plain and Chocolate Chip. In addition, one of the layers will be made of a brand new flavor, Birthday Cake Cheesecake! The massive cake required a mind boggling grocery list which included 700 pounds of cream cheese, 200 pounds of sugar, 900 eggs, 40 pounds of chocolate chips, 100 pounds of Eli’s famous Butter Cookie Crust, 70 pounds strawberries, 100 pounds of strawberries and 10 pounds of graham cracker crumb.

Eli’s has a long standing history with the Taste of Chicago. In fact, Eli Schulman introduced our cheesecake the world at the very first Taste of Chicago in 1980. We can’t wait to celebrate at Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park this Saturday with all of our associates and fans. If you can’t make Saturday, be sure to visit us at our booth on the corner of Jackson Boulevard and Columbus Drive! We’ll be serving Original Plain Cheesecake with Strawberries (7 tickets), Turtle Cheesecake (8 tickets), S’Mores Smoosh – S’Mores Cheesecake topped with ice cream (9 tickets), 35th Birthday Dipper – Birthday Cake Cheesecake dipped in chocolate and decorated with sprinkles (7), and taste portions of  Original Plain or Key Lime Cheesecake (4 tickets) Wednesday through Sunday. We hope to see you there!

Executive Pastry Chef Laurel Boger applying the buttercream frosting to the Big Cake.

Executive Pastry Chef Laurel Boger applying the buttercream frosting to the Big Cake.

The ingredient list for our Big Cake!

The ingredient list for our Big Cake!

Our new Birthday Cake Dippers.

Our new Birthday Cake Dippers.

Eli’s Hosts Speakers for High School Students

Thursdays are always fun at the Eli’s Cheesecake Company, and yesterday was no different. What looked like a dreary day in the morning turned into beautiful sunshine and a cool breeze. A perfect day for our Farmer’s Market! Our chef Antonio made a delicious lunch on the grill and all of our vendors and customers enjoyed the relaxing Thursday afternoon. Our featured vendor, Underground Soap Bakery, set up a display of his various soaps, lotions and scrubs for customers to test out.

On top of all the usual Farmer’s Market excitement, Eli’s had the pleasure of hosting Jenny Yang, Owner of Phoenix Bean, as she spoke to students from the Chicago High School for the Agricultural Sciences about her start in the food industry. Phoenix bean is a premier supplier of soy products located in the Chicagoland area. They are most known for their tofu products. Yang even calls herself a “tofu converter” because of the positive reaction her product gets. Yang’s speech covered a variety of topics from the manufacturing of her products to her various marketing strategies and sales tips. It was especially exciting for Eli’s to host Yang’s presentation because we proudly use Phoenix Bean tofu in our vegan cheesecakes! We deeply appreciate her commitment to quality.

We ended the day hosting students from the National Student Leadership Conference at Northwestern University for a lunch and speeches from our own Marc Schulman and Debbie Marchok. The National Student Leadership Conference is an academic program that encourages young leaders to explore future career interests. Sharing some of our business philosophies and strategies with them was a perfect way to cap our day.

Join us next Thursday and enjoy our Farmer’s Market and speeches from Leland Strom, the director of Farm Credit System Insurance and Tyler Strom, project manager of FARM Illinois. We hope to see you there!

A variety of soaps from our featured vendor, Underground Soap Bakery.

A variety of soaps from our featured vendor, Underground Soap Bakery.

Jenny Yang, owner of Phoenix Bean, talking to the CHSAS students.

Jenny Yang, owner of Phoenix Bean, talking to the CHSAS students.

Our own Marc Schulman and Debbie Marchok preparing to peak to the NSLC Students

Our own Marc Schulman and Debbie Marchok preparing to speak to the NSLC Students. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VIDEO:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBvQd7ayFt8

Eli’s Team Visits Barry Callebaut, USA LLC

Yesterday, a few members of the Eli’s Cheesecake team had the pleasure of touring the facility of one of our chocolate suppliers, Barry Callebaut, USA. Barry Callebaut is one of the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products and they provide us with the high quality chocolate that is in many of our cheesecakes, like the Belgian Chocolate Cheesecake. The tour consisted of a Chocolate 101 class where our team members learned about all the processes that go into making the various types of Barry Callebaut Chocolate and a facility tour. There was also a chocolate tasting, including various types of their dark, milk and white chocolates. The tour was extremely informative and interesting. Eli’s would like to thank everyone at Barry Callebaut Chicago for having us!

One of our associates posing with a statue made of chocolate.

One of our associates posing with a statue made of chocolate.

A chocolate tasting tray filled with a variety dark, milk and white chocolates.

A chocolate tasting tray filled with a variety dark, milk and white chocolates.

Eli’s Cheesecake Celebrates 11th Annual Father’s Day Bike Ride

Our 2015 Father’s Day Bike Ride was a huge success! Over 200 of our guests enjoyed the 10 mile ride through Chicago’s North West side guided by police escorts from the Chicago and Harwood Heights Police Departments. Guests were also provided a continental breakfast and free DIY cheesecake decorating. We extend a huge thank you to all of our sponsors, to the Chicago and Harwood Heights Police Departments and to Rudy Kubica of Rudy’s Bike Shop. We also would like to thank our event chair Sharon Mrowiec for organizing the event and all the rest of our associates. The Father’s Day bike ride is one of our favorite traditions here at Eli’s and we can’t wait to do it again next year!

Eli's Cheesecake President Marc Schulman and his family before the ride.

Eli’s Cheesecake President Marc Schulman and his family before the ride.

Eli’s Makes Big Cake for On Your Feet Premiere After Party

Last night, the cast of On Your Feet celebrated a successful opening night and Eli’s was happy to help. On Your Feet is a musical about the life and music Gloria and Emilio Estefan. The show will open on Broadway in the fall of 2015 but is currently calling Chicago home for its pre-Broadway run. The party was hosted at the Walnut Room on State Street and both Gloria and Emilio Estefan were in attendance and even cut the first slice of the cake provided by Eli’s. The cake was a delicious strawberry topped Tres Leches cake made special for the event. In addition to the cake, Eli’s also provided a variety of mini desserts, including our Brownies, 7 Layer Bars, Dulce de Leche Mini Pies, Caramel Flan Cheesecake Bites, Enrobed Original Plain Cuties and our Salted Caramel Bars. Eli’s was overjoyed to be included in such a fun event a wishes the cast and crew of On Your Feet a successful pre-Broadway run!

Gloria and Emilio Estefan pose with our Tres Leches cake alongside On Your Feet stars Ana Villafane and Josh Segarra.

Gloria and Emilio Estefan pose with our Tres Leches cake alongside On Your Feet stars Ana Villafane and Josh Segarra.

The Tres Leches Cake provided by Eli's was a big hits with the party guests.

The Tres Leches Cake provided by Eli’s was a big hits with the party guests.

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Eli’s Helps Celebrate SOAR’s 40th Birthday

Yesterday, Eli’s helped celebrate SOAR’s 40th birthday as well as the inaugural season of their Farmer’s Market. SOAR (also known as the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents) was founded in 1975 and since then has worked to enhance the Streeterville community. Their Farmer’s Market, formerly managed by the City of Chicago Cultural Affairs and Special Events, is one of their newer projects and is hosted every Tuesday at Museum of Contemporary Art Plaza. The birthday and the Market were celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony as well as a big cake provided by Eli’s Cheesecake. Our own Maureen Schulman also hosted a baking demo of our strawberry compote from the Eli’s Cheesecake Cookbook, coming December 1st. Eli’s was honored to be included in this exciting community event and wishes SOAR luck with their first Farmer’s Market season.

the celebration cake provided by Eli's Cheesecake.

The celebration cake provided by Eli’s Cheesecake.

The Ribbon cutting ceremony took place at noon, celebrating the opening of SOAR's Farmers Market.

The Ribbon cutting ceremony took place at noon, celebrating the opening of SOAR’s Farmers Market.

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Eli’s Cheesecake Farmer’s Market Opens for the Season

Eli’s & Wright College’s Farmers Market is back again for the summer! Yesterday, guests enjoyed a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, artisan crafts and other goodies from our vendors at our opening day. To celebrate the opening, Eli’s offered free Strawberry Topped Cheesecake from 10 AM to 1 PM to all of our customers. Our Farmers Market runs every Thursday from 7 AM to 1 PM now through September 24th. Each Market will feature different events, special activities and speakers so keep up with who’s coming on our Facebook page. Join us next week as we celebrate our grand opening with a ribbon cutting, free continental breakfast and live music out on our patio! We hope to see you there!

Guests enjoyed slices of FREE strawberry cheesecake from 10 AM to 1 PM.

  Guests enjoyed slices of FREE strawberry cheesecake from 10 AM to 1 PM.

Fresh strawberries from Nichols Farm & Orchard.

Fresh strawberries from Nichols Farm & Orchard.

Birdhouses for sports enthusiasts from Backyard Bed & Breakfast, made by Joe Pacovsky.

Birdhouses for sports enthusiasts from Backyard Bed & Breakfast, made by Joe Pacovsky.

Necklaces, bracelets and earrings from Elana's Jewelry.

Necklaces, bracelets and earrings from Elana’s Jewelry.

Eli’s Kicks off Summer with Two Chicago Celebrations

This past Friday, Eli’s was honored to be served at two different celebrations in Chicago. One was an event for the Gene Siskel Film Center honoring actor, director and producer Mark Ruffalo. Ruffalo was the recipient of the Siskel Center’s Renaissance Award for his achievements in the film industry. The event was hosted at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago Hotel and Eli’s was happy to give the attendees our new Salted Caramel Pretzel Bars as dessert. Eli’s Cheesecake was also served at the Above the Rails Gala, the opening party for The 606. The 606 is a new trail in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood that has been in development for the past decade.  The party was held the night before the public opening of the trail and brought together Chicago community leaders to celebrate the innovative new trail. Eli’s was thrilled to be served at both festivities and we look forward to all the rest of our summer events.

Eli’s gave out our new Salted Caramel Pretzel bars alongside another Chicago legend, Fannie May Candies.

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Eli’s Cheesecake President Marc Schulman and his wife, Maureen Schulman with honoree Mark Ruffalo.

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Graduation Day 2015 at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences with Commencement Speaker, Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Administrator for the Agricultural Research Service of the USDA

Graduation Day at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences is always a special day for me and for all of us at Eli’s Cheesecake. It was on Friday, June 11, 2014 that the Eli’s Cheesecake Blog debuted with graduation at CHSAS featuring World Food Prize Winner Catherine Bertini. The next day, I had the privilege of giving the commencement speech at Kendall College; the last graduation in Evanston before this institution moved to its impressive campus on Goose Island in Chicago.

After being involved with CHSAS for over 25 years, I have watched a generation of future leaders graduate from the School and it is always so inspiring to participate in the  ceremony to hear from the global leaders in food and agriculture who have joined us in the celebration and to see the students recognized.

This is also the 4th year that Eli’s Cheesecake has presented scholarships to graduating seniors. This year’s recipients of the Aaron Easter Memorial Scholarship, given in the name of the late son of Robert and Cheryl Easter, were Alana Chose and Alyssa Pedersen, who will be attending the College of ACES at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. The Robert A. Hatoff & Eli M. Schulman Scholarship is given in the name of our Founder and his dearest friend, Robert Hatoff, and was awarded to Grace Mikrut attending Illinois State University and Noor Ahmand, attending the University of Illinois Chicago

In 2015 we welcomed Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, the Administrator of the Agricultural Research Service for the United States Department of Agriculture. A group of us from the School has visited Dr. Jacobs-Young at the USDA in January of 2012 and she gave remarks at the commencement in June of 2012 when USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack was the speaker.  Today, Dr. Jacobs-Young serves as the Administrator of the ARS which has an annual budget of $1.1 billion and has over 2,700 employees with more than a hundred locations nationally and around the world. ARS works to ensure that Americans have reliable, adequate supplies of high-quality food and other agricultural products and is a significant partner with the land grant colleges nationally.

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Dr. Jacobs-Young took a tour of the  six career paths at CHSAS before the graduation ceremony with the Top 10 graduates. Here Noor Ahmad, co-valedictorian and FFA President explains the Food Science Career Path.

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The Top 10 graduates of the CHSAS Class of 2015 give a tour of the animal science career path and the CHSAS Farm to Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Administrator of the Agricultural Research Service of USDA.

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The CHSAS Graduating Class of 2015.

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After the graduation ceremony, Dr. Jacobs-Young is congratulated by Rouhy Shalabi, Business Advisory Board Co-Chair and LSC Chair, Dr. Laurie Kramer, Associate Dean of the College of ACES at the University of Illinois, Marc Schulman, President of Eli’s Cheesecake and Co-Chair of the Advisory Board, Lucille Shaw, Assistant Principal and Sheila Fowler, Agricultural Department Chair.

 

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Dr. Jacobs-Young, Lucille Shaw, and Marc Schulman congratulate the recipients of the Robert A. Hatoff & Eli M. Schulman Scholarships, Grace Mikrut on the left and Noor Ahmad on the right.