Former Bear brings decade-old idea to life: pre-filled communion cups

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The religious response to COVID-19 includes a decades old idea and a local company offering communion cups.

The man behind the cups is a familiar face: Israel Idonije.

The former Chicago Bear has been building this business since retiring from the NFL. Blessed Manufacturing was the idea of a grounded man of faith. Idonije and his team make little two-in-one wonders: pre-filled communion cups.

At the manufacturing plant, cups spill out by the dozens. They’re weighed, bagged, boxed and shipped out to thousands of churches around the globe.

Some have even made a journey high above earth.

“Our cups have been used at the space station,” Idonije said.

Host on top, juice on the bottom. They are sanitary and safe for consumption.

In the last week amid escalating COVID-19 concerns, demand has doubled.

“Over the last week all of a sudden there’s been a hyper focus with the sensitivities in our communities,” he said. “Now today, where within in a week we’re doubling our production because of demand, nothing changes for us. We’re still applying that same love same respect for the product. … We’re a faith based company. I grew up in the church I’m a man of God myself. … I grew up in the church. My parents are missionaries and I remember as a child having to pour every little cup for communion.”

From Baptists to Evangelicals to Methodists to Episcopalians, the cups are reaching the masses.

“The narrative for us has always been about making communion safe and making it an experience that people can believe in with a piece of mind,” Idonije said.

Despite demand doubling the company has not increased prices. So far, they are meeting the need. To find out more check out

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