At the young age of 24, our founder Katie Vandenberg decided to open a coffee shop. Katie purchased a vacant house on Jefferson Street in Morton. The house had 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 opened the doors of the home originally built by Eli Messenger, and Eli’s Coffee Shop was born.
Made in Morton
For nine years, our little shop in the heart of Morton thrived, serving carefully brewed coffee along with homemade breakfast & lunch selections.
Finding New Communities
Eli’s has grown quite a bit since 2005. Our love for coffee and community has seen us open new locations in surrounding communities along with expanding our menu and capabilities:
- 2014 – Eli’s opens its second shop in Tremont. Located in a former train depot, this location introduced our first drive thru.
- 2017 – Eli’s expands to Metamora. Located in a former general store with beautiful aesthetics and a rich history.
- 2019 – Eli’s Rewards launches, which introduced a new rewards system along with an app and mobile ordering in 2020.
- 2020 – Late 2020 saw the creation of the Eli’s HUB, our warehouse, bakery, and headquarters.
Our values fall under two distinct beliefs. The first is our Identity, who we are as a business. This expresses the essence of Eli’s and should serve as your foundation for what it means to be a member of the Eli’s Family. The second item is our Mission Statement. This gives purpose to our identity, as knowing who we are simply isn’t enough. We also have to know where we’re going and our long-term goals in this business. Our Mission Statement outlines those goals and gives us direction as we grow.
Our Identity: Eli’s is the oasis in the busyness of the day. That special place in between your home and the rest of your life. We serve strong, carefully brewed coffee and espresso, homemade treats, and a great deli selection. Everything is made with the freshest ingredients and served by smiling faces who know your name. Serving our community is our highest goal, and we work daily to improve the lives of our neighbors and enrich the local history around us.
Our Mission: Our mission is to connect with our communities and customers through delicious coffee, homemade treats, and a fresh deli selection, preserving the rich heritage with which we have been entrusted.
Our Pillars serve as the core beliefs in our business. They appear in our Identity and Mission Statement. These Pillars are the bedrock of our beliefs and all our decisions are checked against them. Whether we’re talking about growth, customers, employees, or any other area of the business, we always ask ourselves if this is in sync with our Pillars. If you ever have a question about what we stand for, you can always look here.
1. Connection – We form a bond with our employees (The Eli’s Family) and our customers. We deeply value our employees and ensure that they have the right tools and training to do their jobs. We know our customers by name. We know their favorite drink. Each time they come in, we make a connection with them, building a relationship.
2. Community – Each location is deeply involved in their local communities. Through our Donate a Day and Donation Creation programs, we support and empower those around us. We’re an advocate for our communities, bringing truth to the phrase, Coffee with Heart.
3. Heritage – We take our history and the history of our communities very seriously. We believe that by learning from our past, we gain wisdom for our future. We don’t build new buildings for our locations but restore places rich in history and memory. We want to build on the past, rather than see it erased.