Rachel and Weston knew that they had a clear vision in mind for the future of Eli’s and were ready to start taking concrete steps to make that vision a reality. So on January 1st. of 2019, they purchased the remaining shares of Eli’s and continue to lead the company on our mission to forge connections, build community, and preserve the heritage of our beginnings.
Back in March of 2016, Rachel and Weston had the opportunity to look at a building on the Metamora Square that was becoming vacant and in need of a new business. While touring the building, they fell in love with the floor-to-ceiling windows, open spaces, and great potential that the building offered. After some careful thought and consideration, construction began on Eli’s third location in January of 2017.
The building was in need of a major renovation on the inside. The original wood floors were refinished, bathrooms were reconfigured, and a new prep kitchen and coffee bar space was constructed. After almost 6 months of work, Eli’s in Metamora opened its doors on May 18th. 2017.
In July of 2016, Rachel’s husband Weston joined Eli’s full time as the company’s COO. As Eli’s had grown, it was becoming more difficult to manage so Weston began overhauling the technology platforms, employee training, and stocking systems that were in use.
In late August of 2015, Eli’s went through a major re-branding effort. This effort included a new logo, an updated vision and mission statement (written below), and a new website.
In January of 2015, it was clear to Katie that she was ready to make a transition. With a second child on the way and many more responsibilities now than in years past, she felt as though she had taken Eli’s as far as she desired. On April 2nd, 2015 Rachel Berchtold and her husband Weston, purchased the majority ownership in Eli’s and took over the day-to-day operations of the company.
The demands of catering and an expanded baking selection meant that the small kitchen in the Morton shop just wasn’t cutting it. Katie and Rachel started looking for a new location with more space for baking and storage. After a long search, they found a place in Tremont that fit the bill perfectly. Eli’s at the Tremont Depot was opened on February 11th 2014. With the additional space and large commercial kitchen, Eli’s was able to expand its lunch selection and take on much larger catering orders. Business continued to grow and a new community fell in love with Eli’s.
On June 1st, just after graduating from high school, Rachel Berchtold (Aberle) began working for Eli’s in Morton. She held multiple roles at the shop, first starting as a Barista, then becoming one of the bakers, and finally, the shop manager. Rachel worked part-time in at the shop until 2014.
At the young age of 24, our founder, Katie Vandenberg decided to open a coffee shop. Despite some objection, Katie purchased a vacant house on Jefferson Street in Morton. The house sat empty for several years and needed a lot of work. After a near total renovation including a new roof, updated plumbing, and an electrical overhaul, the house was ready. On February 2nd 2005, Katie once more opened the doors of the home originally built by Eli Messenger, and Eli’s Coffee Shop was born.