Alumni / Spring 2017

Alumnus Marc Schulman carries on a cheesecake legacy

“The secret of longevity and a successful brand is … hard work, passion, commitment to family and humanitarian efforts,” says alumnus Marc Schulman. Photo courtesy of Eli’s Cheesecake

Family is a way of life for Marc Schulman, president of Chicago-based dessert empire Eli’s Cheesecake.

Schulman (BSBA ’76) inherited the business from his father, the late Eli Schulman, owner of several now-shuttered Chicago-area eateries that played host in the ’60s and ’70s to celebrities such as Woody Allen, Barbra Streisand and Sammy Davis Jr. Marc Schulman still wears the watch that was given to his father by Frank Sinatra.

Eli’s is still a family business today — not just because it is run by the founder’s son, but because Schulman considers the staff part of his family. And the company contributes to the welfare of many families in Chicago as well, working with local nonprofits to educate, train and hire people with disabilities and providing students at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences with job shadowing, mentoring, internships and scholarships for careers in the food industry.

“People matter, and we’re dedicated to education and training. The secret of longevity and a successful brand is … hard work, passion, commitment to family and humanitarian efforts,” Schulman told the Huffington Post in a recent article.

Schulman recruits around 15 percent of his employees from resettled refugees in the city, working with the nonprofit RefugeeOne to find workers to help produce some 300,000 portions of cheesecake a day, plus cookies, cakes, dessert bars and more.

“We’ve been hiring refugees to the United States for over 22 years — almost as long as we’ve been in business — and they’re very valued members of our company,” Schulman says. “We’ve had people who have come to our company from many, many different parts of the world, and we have a lot of leaders at our company who came through the program.

“I believe that the individuals that we have in our company that came here as refugees are as American or as much a part of Eli’s as anybody else in the company,” he continues. “They make a major contribution to our success.”


One Comment

  1. Margie Nyberg says:

    Lol!!!! Doesn’t tell enuf about you!!! But fun to see!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *