Eli’s uses only pure Madagascar Bourbon vanilla extract and vanilla beans from Nielsen-Massey Vanilla, headquartered in Waukegan, Illinois – a certified Fair Trade™ Company. Bourbon Vanilla is vanilla that is grown in the Bourbon Islands – Comoro, Madagascar, Seychelles and Reunion (it does not contain bourbon whiskey). Ours comes from Madagascar.The finest hand-picked vanilla beans and an exclusive cold extraction process create one of the finest vanilla extracts in the world. This vanilla is consistently rated “Superior” by the American Institute of Baking and is certified Kosher. Family owned and managed since 1907, Nielsen-Massey’s commitment to quality and high standards are why it is one of the most flavorful ingredients used in Eli’s Cheesecakes and desserts.
Eli’s uses Ida Red Apples from Michigan which are delicious, tart red apples that hold their shape well when baked. We use only fresh apple slices, never processed or frozen. The apples are placed in what is known as Controlled Atmosphere Storage. This sealed, temperature-controlled room keeps the apples as fresh as the day they were picked until we are ready to use them in our desserts. Our apple filling is made with Michigan Ida Reds, sugar, cinnamon, and a bit of starch. Many other commercial fillings are made with high fructose corn syrup, fewer apples, and more fillers. Eli’s is proud of our strong partnership with the Michigan Apple Committee to support midwestern farmers
Bees are working round the clock on the South side of Chicago so that student beekeepers from the Chicago High School of Agricultural Sciences (CHSAS) can harvest enough honey to supply Eli’s with the key ingredient used to produce the Wildflower Honey Cheesecake. According to Marc Schulman, Eli’s President, “It’s a win win because by purchasing the honey from CHSAS, we not only support the school financially, but give students the opportunity to participate in many aspects of the food industry.” CHSAS senior Charlie Herrera agrees, “As a food science major, I like the fact that our teachers incorporate real business situations into the classroom…like the honey project.” Students are involved in every step of the process, from harvesting to preparing and bottling to delivery of the wildflower honey to Eli’s bakery located on Chicago’s Northwest Side. All proceeds from purchasing the honey as well as a portion of the proceeds from Wildflower Honey Cheesecake sales go the CHSAS’s college scholarship fund for deserving seniors.
Click here to watch a video on how our Wildflower Honey Cheesecake is made!
Eli’s blackberries come from family- owned Sakuma Brothers Farm in Burlington, Washington. The Sakuma family has been growing berries in the Pacific Northwest since 1915. This 5th generation farming family has established itself as one of the country’s most successful vertically integrated small fruit growers.
We know it’s an oxymoron, but we’ve created such a rich and creamy vegan dessert we couldn’t resist calling it “cheesecake.” Our vegan cheesecakes are dairy free and egg free, made with soft tofu from Phoenix Bean. They’ve been making artisan tofu in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood for over 30 years. It’s handcrafted in small batches by a team of expert tofu makers using GMO free Illinois soybeans.
Click here for a video to see how we make our vegan cheesecake featuring Phoenix Bean.
The pumpkin used to make our new Mini Pumpkin Pies comes from Stahlbush Island Farms, located in Oregon’s lush Willamette Valley. Stahlbush Island Farm is an environmentally friendly farm and food processor committed to sustainable agriculture. Stahlbush has been family- owned since 1985. Their entire farm is certified sustainable by the Food Alliance. They define sustainable as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (based on “Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development,” United Nations, 1987). Their philosophy of sustainability guides our farming practices and affects the way they use energy and care for soil, water, people and wildlife.