Eli’s Cheesecake hosts honored veterans attending the 70th Reunion of the USS Honolulu

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USS Honolulu in 1994

USS Honolulu Veterans at Eli's

USS Honolulu Veterans visiting Eli’s Cheesecake

On Sunday, we were honored to host the 70th Reunion of the crew of the USS Honolulu, one of the most distinguished ships that served in the Pacific during World War II. Five of the seven attending veterans visited Eli’s Cheesecake. The ship had a crew of almost 900 and survived two torpedo attacks during the War, one of which occurred 70 years ago today.

This is truly the greatest generation and this may be the last reunion of the group due to health reasons. The story below from the St. Petersburg Times was written during the 2012 Reunion when 12 veterans were able to attend.

We are honored that we could have them enjoy Eli’s Cheesecake and Desserts, hear our story and receive our thanks for their dedicates service to our country.


Eli’s Supports Chicago’s Moving Day

MovingDay_FullColorMoving Day® is this Sunday, October 19th. It is the National Parkinson Foundation’s annual fundraising walk event. It is a fun and inspiring fundraising event that unites families, friends and communities both large and small in the fight against Parkinson’s disease. This celebration of movement will feature a family friendly walk course, a kids area, a refreshment tent and a special Movement Pavilion featuring dance, boxing, and other exercise classes all proven to help manage the symptoms of PD.

In its 2 year history, Moving Day Chicago has raised over $600,000 in the fight against Parkinson’s disease! Proceeds raised from the campaign help to improve the quality of care for people with Parkinson’s disease through research, education and outreach. Eli’s is excited to be able to support such a great fundraising event by providing desserts to all of the participants.

Moving Day® raises awareness of Parkinson’s both nationally and in the Chicago community. It is ‘A day to move, a day to move others, a day that moves YOU!’

To register for the event, visit the registration page. If you would like to make a donation to help fight Parkinson’s disease, please visit their donation page.

Our First Retiree Returns!

Today we were honored with a visit from our good friend Jean Ryglewicz, our very first retiree, who started with us way back in 1987! Here she is today on the right side of the image (wearing blue) with the Eli’s team and in the left image, front row, third from the right (which was taken almost 30 years ago). Thank you for the visit, Jean, please come back soon!



Eli’s Providing Dessert for Redmoon’s Skelebration

Redmoon-LogoskelebrationRedmoon’s family event Skelebration, which debuted with great success last year, returns for its second annual installment of experiential exploration running over two weekends, October 18-19 and 25-26. Families are invited into its otherworldly playground inside its Pilsen home (2120 S. Jefferson Street) for a re-invention of the seasonal rituals of Halloween. Directed by Kasey Foster under conceptual direction by Redmoon Producing Artistic Director Frank Maugeri, Redmoon promises an all-new array of multisensory delights, including:

• Redmoon’s Celestial Swing
• The UFO Carouse
• Redmoon’s “Cartoon Adventure” .
• Families picnics in The Man Made Lagoon
• The premier of Redmoon’s newest food service device The Pastry Wheel
• And much more…

Eli’s will be providing Cheesecakes & Desserts throughout the celebration! 

For more information, or to purchase tickets, click here.

Eli’s Proud to Support the Chicago International Film Festival


Chicago Film Festival 2014This year is the 50th Anniversary of Chicago’s International Film Festival! The festival brings Chicago the unique opportunity to see world-class cinema, from new discoveries to international prizewinners, and hear directly from the talented people who’ve brought them to us. This year is no different, with filmmakers from Scandinavia to Mexico and Hollywood to our backyard, joining us for what is Chicago’s most thrilling movie event of the year. Kick off is tonight, October 9th, where Eli’s will be supporting with a Big Cake!  The festival runs through October 23, and a full schedule of events and movies showing can be found on their website. To purchase tickets, click here.

The Chicago International Film Festival is presented by Cinema/Chicago.  They are a year-round non-profit cultural and educational organization dedicated to fostering better communication between people of diverse cultures through the art of film and the moving image. Cinema/Chicago serves Chicago’s diverse and under-served citizenry by providing access to world-class cinema. The organization aims to enrich Chicago’s cultural environment by presenting film in contexts that encourage discussion and debate.

Marc Schulman Speaks at Good Food Business Accelerator Event

Marc FarmedHere 2014The launch of FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Business Accelerator program on October 1 drew a standing-room crowd to the spacious auditorium at 1871, the start-up incubator that is Chicago’s center of innovation. The turnout was symbolic of the rapid growth of the Good Food movement, and of its community of entrepreneurs, investors, large-scale buyers, consumers, and activists. The Accelerator program will be located at 1871 in the historic Merchandise Mart and will provide its eight selected Fellows with six months of intensive mentorship from industry leaders and technical support on how to shape their businesses and financial plans, along with networking opportunities with potential buyers, customers and investors. Marc Schulman, president of the Chicago-based Eli’s Cheesecake company, is co-chairing FamilyFarmed’s 2015 Good Food Financing and Innovation Conference. To read the full article, click here.

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JD Wetherspoon adds Eli’s Salted Caramel Cheesecake to Menu

JD Wetherspoon, a chain restaurant in the UK, announced today that it will be extending its list of US-themed classic dishes on its new autumn menu. Along with this, they have decided to add Eli’s Salted Caramel Cheesecake to the dessert menu. Eli’s is proud to be partners with JD Wetherspoon and Food Fellas. Visit their website to learn more about JD Wetherspoon Pubs.JDW---Eli's-Salted-Caramel-Cheesecake-launch




Eli’s is Proud to Support Vernissage

Vernissage Logo 2014Eli’s is a proud to be serving dessert at The Women’s Board of the Museum of Contemporart Art’s annual Vernissage event this Thursday, September 18, 2014. The event is the opening celebration of EXPO CHICAGO’s three-day art fair.  It has been a cultural staple of the MCA, and will be featuring artwork from more than 140 galleries on an international scale. Proceeds from Vernissage raise significant funds in support of the mission of the MCA Education Department, whose programs offer compelling opportunities to explore, challenge, discuss, and reflect on the MCA’s holdings and the larger world of contemporary art and culture.

For more information on Vernissage and the MCA Chicago, visit the event page.

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Eli’s Supports Gateway Green’s Annual Gala

GTB 2014Eli’s is a proud dessert sponsor of the 23rd annual Green Tie Ball taking place on Saturday, September 13th.  The annual gala is the signature fundraising event for Chicago Gateway Green, which raises funds for Chicago’s Expressway Partnership Program. Chicago Gateway Green developed the Expressway Partnership program in 1999, joining the City of Chicago, the State of Illinois and Chicago’s corporate community to transform the city’s expressways into beautifully-landscaped parkways. Distinct from traditional ‘adopt-a-highway’ programs, Chicago Gateway Green develops and maintains sweeping landscapes which feature our sponsors, creating green ribbons of sustainable landscapes weaving throughout the city.

For more information on the Green Tie Ball, visit the event page.

Eli’s President, Marc Schulman, Interviewed by the Illinois Restaurant Association

6987tcw(1)The Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA) recently had the opportunity to speak with Eli’s Cheesecake owner Marc Schulman about his years in the industry, his favorite moments in the Taste of Chicago history and what’s new with the IRA Centennial restaurant today.

Eli’s Cheesecake is the only vendor to have been involved with the Taste of Chicago since its inception. What is your favorite thing about this annual food festival?
Of course, celebrating our birthday with Eli’s giant 1,000 pound cheesecake! And, spending five days outside in a t-shirt with my fellow restaurateurs…it’s like food camp. I also like meeting our customers and hearing what they have to say about our product.

Is there a one staple item at the Taste (besides your cheesecake of course!) that you have to get every year?
Robinson’s boneless rib sandwich, corn on the cob, watermelon and pizza. It is so much fun to walk down Columbus and Jackson taking in the crowds and deciding what new item (or old favorite) to sample.

Eli’s has been in the food business for over 70 years -any advice for achieving longevity in the restaurant/hospitality business? Biggest reward, biggest challenge?
It is an inspiring story about what can be achieved in the restaurant business! My dad went into the restaurant business accidentally in 1940 when he found his favorite west side (Ogden & Kedzie) coffee shop had gone out of business. Here we are 74 years later with a great history of achievements—first in the restaurant business, and most recently with Eli’s Stage Delicatessen and Eli’s the Place for Steak, and then my Dad introducing his signature Cheesecake at that first Taste of Chicago on July 4, 1980. Without Taste and without restaurant heritage, we would have never had the opportunity to grow into a national leader in supplying cheesecake and desserts to leading restaurants nationally.

What are the most memorable moments in Eli’s history?
Being with my parents, Eli and Esther, and my wife Maureen, at the Ceremony for Chicago’s 150th Birthday Cake at Taste of Chicago in 1987. When Mayor Washington couldn’t attend at the last minute, Bozo stepped in and read the resolution citing my parents for their contribution to Chicago and for creating the very special cake. We had so many friends of my parents in attendance and a huge crowd for the cake cutting so my parents really saw the success of Eli’s Cheesecake.

You’re known for making some giant cheesecakes around town. What are your thoughts on going for the Guinness Record?
At Taste alone, we sold over 5.2 million slices of Eli’s Cheesecake so that has to be a record in itself. The biggest Cheesecake we ever created was for Bill Clinton’s first inaugural in Washington DC in 1993. That Cake weighed over 2,000 lbs. and was red, white and “Bill” in honor of the new President.

What other exciting things does Eli’s have happening this year?
We turned National Cheesecake Day into a week of celebrations from July 30th to August 2nd. We travel around the City in our Cheesecake Mobile bringing slices to the staff and families at Lurie Children’s Hospital (on the former site of Eli’s the Place for Steak) and right across the street at Seneca Park and the Eli M. Schulman Playground. We also host a Classic Car Show at Eli’s Cheesecake with over 200 entries benefitting the New Horizons Center and have a “Meet the Maker” Day at our Thursday Farmers Market profiling the great local suppliers who make our cheesecakes and desserts so great. We also just introduced Eli’s Vegan Cheesecake with Tofu from Phoenix Bean on the north side of Chicago.


To read the interview on the IRA website, click here.