Hello! My name is Jennifer (most refer to me as Jen). I’m a mom to three spectacular boys, Chase 16, Gabe 14, and Jayden 11.
In December of 2015, I didn’t have money to purchase Christmas gifts for family. I had recently come out of a domestic violence marriage. I was getting food assistance weekly from a place called Gleaners. During one of my weekly pickups of food I received a bountiful gift of blackberries. Prior to my separation, I was a stay-at-home mom and volunteered the majority of my spare time at the boys’ school. I had not been able to volunteer anymore and felt bad. To show my gratefulness and appreciation to the staff, I made them a Blackberry Cheesecake. It was such a big hit that it gave me the idea to make cheesecakes paired with wine for my family for Christmas. I took a picture of the cheesecakes I made and posted them on my personal Facebook page stating, “Cheesecakes made with love by Jen.”
I had three friends reach out to me and ask if they could pay me to make them a cheesecake for New Years. Let’s just say I was speechless and in utter shock! I remember when I received my first payment I cried. This was when "Cheesecakes By Jen" originated.
Now three and half years later I have made over 400 cheesecakes. I have delivered as far North to Vancouver and South to Albany. A friend froze one of my cheesecakes and snuck it in her luggage to Colorado.
My Salted Caramel has gone for $600 at a local charter school auction. I continually hear that my cheesecakes are “the best,” “amazing,” “to die for,”and "orgasmic." I’m honored and humbled every time. Honestly, I don’t know what makes my cheesecakes so special other than I really do make them with my whole heart. I do love feeding souls!
Over the last three years, I pursued a degree in Social Work while navigating being a full time single mom, student and a 16 hour per week practicum. In the midst of all that, I also juggled many court trials, depositions, custody evaluations, restraining orders and immediate danger orders, moved twice, houseless for three weeks, countless counseling appointments, mediation, kids attorney, DHS, and the list goes on and on. Cheesecakes became my stability. Making them became a form of therapy for me. My mind would stop racing as I made them and it's still the same to this day. After the above, I graduated with honors from Portland State University last summer 2018. This was a HUGE accomplishment as I am the first-generation college graduate in my family.
As school wrapped up the demand for my cheesecakes grew. Not the direction I had envisioned but doors kept opening for me to have my own storefront shop. I found a space downtown Silverton. I will be able to sell cheesecakes wholesale to local restaurants, while still providing cheesecakes to my beloved customers that I have grown to know personally and love. The end goal is to have the shop space be a place for community to gather and for customers to come in and enjoy a scrumptious, decadent dessert.
I have two main mottos I live by: “Each day is a gift” and “You only live once.” I've chosen to jump and take this risk of opening up a shop. I don't want to live with regrets. I’ve realized that I can integrate my social work practice within my cheesecake business. My dreams are to grow and expand to where I can hire individuals with barriers or need a hand up. I want the shop to be an opportunity to bless the community. Not just with the deliciousness of cheesecake but as an experience; an environment that cultivates community, warmth, love, joy, empowerment, inspiration, friendship, acceptance, etc.
The space did not come with a kitchen. I’m raising funds for the kitchen, to provide an ADA bathroom as well as other renovations. I have been finding used commercial equipment here and there, yet still in need of mixers, ovens, a freezer, POS System and general inventory.
I can't thank you enough in advance for any dollar amount gifted. I'm super sentimental which means your name will be placed on a wall in the kitchen called the "Backers" wall. :) Beloved Cheesecakes belongs to a Beloved community of supporters near and far. The boys and I look forward to sharing the rewards with you!
With an enormous grateful heart,
Risks and challenges
As of right now, my biggest challenge is funding. I need funding to finish the renovations, purchase commercial equipment to meet county requirements and build up my inventory. I have confidence in my vision for Beloved Cheesecakes, and even more so from the feedback of the community which leads me to another challenge of being incredibly busy. I may end up having to hire people to work with me sooner than planned to accommodate the demand of the community. I hope I can reach the Kickstarter goal so I can make more cheesecakes to serve a deserving beloved community.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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