MORTON, Ill. — It’s a scene you’d find at any other coffee shop: Busy baristas serving up cup after cup of Joe.
But Eli’s isn’t just any coffee shop. It’s nestled in one of the oldest standing buildings in Morton.
Tremont natives, and husband and wife team, Weston and Rachel Berchtold have owned the shop since 2015.
“This shop is sort of an extension of ourselves in a way and yeah it’s our mission and our job here just to be involved in the community that we grew up in,” Eli’s Coffee Shop co-owner Weston said.
Before there was Eli’s Coffee Shop, there was Eli Messenger; the carpenter who built this home in the 1860’s. In 2005 Eli’s Coffee Shop was officially born.
“It really helps out I think when you’re coming into a community that you’re working with a space that already has connections to that town,” co-owner Rachel said.
Founder Katie Vandenberg originally hired Rachel as a part-time barista. And as Rachel rose in managerial status, so did Eli’s presence in the community.
“Things just kind of grew and grew,” Rachel said.
In 2014, Katie and Rachel opened a new Tremont location. A year later, Rachel and Weston bought Eli’s, ultimately building a third shop in Metamora.
“If you would have asked me five years ago if I would’ve been running a coffee shop with my wife, I don’t think that would’ve ever been the first thing I would’ve thought of, but it’s been such an adventure,” Weston said.
It’s a busy process for the couple, who manage 50 employees across the three locations. But they say it’s all worth it.
“[…] We’re working off of a bunch of really neat history and memories and just a living legacy from a building,” Rachel said.