Intelligentsia Coffee

Our story begins in 1995 - a story not so different from many other entrepreneurs and dreamers. At the time, finding great tasting, fresh roasted coffee was surprisingly elusive. So, Doug Zell and Emily Mange decided to do something about it. They didn’t set out to change the world, just a small corner of it.

Relocating from San Francisco, they opened their own coffeebar and retail store in Chicago’s eclectic Lakeview neighborhood. Roasting their coffee in-store, with equipment that was more antique than state-of-the-art, they honed their craft, seeking nothing less than perfection in every aspect of the experience. Little did Doug and Emily know that what started as a way to connect with people and the community in an intimate, personal way would blossom into something that would help shape an entire industry.