I’ve been following Sam, the woman behind The Cheesecake Girl, on Instagram for quite a while, and when I reached out to her in January to ask if she’d want to sit down with me and tell me more about what she loves what she does, she said yes.
We sat down together at the Sunny Street Cafe on Reed Road, which is where she is currently baking. We talked about life, business, what she loves what she does, and where she hopes to take this.
//FROM THE BEGINNING//
I asked Sam how she got started, and more specifically, why cheesecake. She’s always enjoyed baking and one night in college (Jacksonville State University down in Alabama) she and friends were hanging out, gathered in the kitchen (because truly, it ALWAYS happens that way) and one thing lead to the next. Sam whipped together a cheesecake for the whole crowd, from what she’d found in the fridge.
It was such a hit that she was soon fielding requests from friends who’d heard about her cheesecakes.
Sam went down to Jacksonsville State on a full ride pole-vaulting scholarship and came back with a degree in Culinary Arts.
After that fateful night in her friends kitchen, Sam refined her cheesecake recipes, branching further and further out from a traditional New York style cheesecake, feeding friends and defining her style.The Cheesecake Girl. Couture Cheesecakes for Columbus Ohio #cookeatexplore #cheesecake #cbuseats Click To Tweet
After graduation, she moved back to the Columbus area, and like most recent college graduates, spent some time trying to decide what she wanted to do next. After a stint working in radio promotions, it became clear that cheesecakes were not only her passion, but her future as well.
The Cheesecake Girl was born.
Like in all parts of life, word of mouth referrals are the best possible endorsements, and Sam’s took off. Soon she was having to turn down orders due to the time that her radio job was taking, and that didn’t sit quite right.
Time to leave the radio.
Leaving a job that you love (and are good at) is a hard call to make, and one that was not made lightly. The choice to go out on her own was one that was not made lightly, but when it came down to it, having her own bakery was where her heart lead.
Taking the leap to move from working for someone else, to working just for yourself, is terrifying (exhilarating, but freakin’ terrifying nonetheless), and taking that leap was no different for Samantha.
The first time Sam and I sat down to chat was three days before her last day in radio, and it was definitely on her mind. The next time that I saw her was after she’d been her own boss for a while, and the smile on her face said it all. Still stressful, absolutely. Still scary, yup. Worth it? ABSOLUTELY.
//WHERE TO FIND HER CHEESECAKES//
Aside from taking custom orders, both via phone and through her website, you can also find them featured on the Local Roots desert menu, at special pairing events throughout the city, and depending on the weekend, in North Market, at their daily stall. The best way to stay up to date on events is through The Cheesecake Girl’s Facebook Page.
Orders placed through her website can be picked up at the Sunny Street Cafe on Reed Rd, or, depending on where you’re at in town, some delivery is available as well.
I’ve tasted a fair amount of them, and have (so far) narrowed my favorites down to the Boston Cream Pie, Snickerdoodle, or the Red Velvet. Pretty certain however, that you can’t go wrong with anything.
Through her website, there is also the option to create your own, an option I have not yet tried, but that’s just a matter of time.
When I asked Sam what comes next, where she wants to take this, her answer was perhaps to space of her own, which may be coming sooner than planned. As for expansion plans and looking further down the road, right now, she’s enjoying being in the kitchen, being her own boss, and creating fantastic new flavor combinations.
April 3rd Sam will be pairing her cheesecakes at the Powell Village Winery, and then at the West Elm Spring Pop Up Event at Easton Town Center on the 9th of April. Check her out, you will not be disappointed.