Our Story

Eli’s Cheesecake was the dream of Chicago restaurateur and celebrity in his own right, Eli M. Schulman. Over his almost 50-year career, he developed a reputation for serving up great food, providing outstanding service and making every customer feel important. Representing the spirit of the city he loved, Eli was dedicated to helping the community. His motto “charity will never bust you” was exemplified during the great depression, by a sign hanging in his restaurant’s window “if you are hungry and have no money we will feed you for free.” Eli passed this legacy on to his son Marc, the President of the Eli’s Cheesecake Company.

Eli’s first venture in the restaurant business began in 1940 with the popular coffee shop Eli’s Ogden Huddle, later followed by Eli’s Stage Delicatessen—a celebrity hangout for  soon-to-be famous  performers like
Barbara Streisand.  The who’s who of Chicago and the world followed Eli to Eli’s the Place for Steak which opened in 1966, where he decided to make cheesecake his signature dessert. Working in his restaurant’s kitchen, he created a cheesecake so rich and creamy that his customers proclaimed it Chicago’s finest.

In 1980, Eli’s Cheesecake made its public debut at the first Taste of Chicago and it was a mega-hit!  Eli’s is the #1 dessert at the food festival, selling over 2 million slices. To keep up with the ever increasing demands, in 1996 Eli’s opened Eli’s Cheesecake World, the 62,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art bakery, corporate office and dessert café, located on Chicago’s northwest side. Eli’s has grown from a local favorite to one of the country’s largest specialty bakeries, turning out 20,000 cheesecakes and desserts daily. Eli’s goal is simple: to create the best cheesecakes and desserts possible, using the finest ingredients available, and to share the company’s success with its talented associates and the community.

As a family-owned business, Eli’s is proud to support their community, local farmers and small businesses. Although Eli’s has grown dramatically over the past 40 years, we still take our time to bake the highest quality desserts for your table by slow baking our cheesecakes in small batches, and allow the finest ingredients to develop to their optimum flavors. We use slow cultured cream cheese and sour cream to achieve the perfect taste and texture, and we hand-decorate all of our desserts so that they taste as good as they look.