Anne, Joy, and I support all types of families in the Twin Cities. We want to actually DO something and empower our fellow residents of the Twin Cities. So in an effort to be an ally to people of color, Family Fun Twin Cities is dedicated once a month to highlighting a BIPOC business gem in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area.
October’s Local Feature: Cheesecake Funk
If you would like to nominate a BIPOC business, click on the button below.
Vanessa Drews began baking for family and friends because she’d always enjoyed creating in the kitchen. Before she knew it, she couldn’t show up to a family function without it.
Fast forward to 2013, her combined love of baking cheesecakes and music collided. She had the honor for working for Prince, and out of a welcoming spirit, she would leave cheesecakes in the fridge for staff and band members to enjoy.
She soon realized that The Boss–Prince himself–enjoyed them! He happily called them “Cheesecake Funk,” mentioning Cheesecake Funk on invitations to Paisley Park and conveying a fondness for her cheesecakes.
I’m forever grateful to him for his nod of confidence in my creations.
In August 2019, Vanessa took the biggest leap of faith (along with an immense amount of drive and determination) and left her career as a Senior Paralegal at a large downtown Minneapolis law firm to focus on growing her brand, Cheesecake Funk.
What is your favorite part of the business?
Connecting with people from across the world who seek out Cheesecake Funk when visiting Minneapolis. The #purplearmy runs deep, and it’s amazing sharing a little bit of Minneapolis Prince history and appreciation when they visit.
What has been your biggest hurdle?
The Covid-19 pandemic. In March 2020, I was planning on huge growth in restaurants, but when everything shut down I had to rethink the execution and delivery of Cheesecake Funk. I had to pivot thinking and figure out how to connect with customers the safest and most effective way. I moved into pre-orders and curb-side pickup and things have been good. The community of support I have from family, friends and the growing list of new customers – has been incredible. I will continue on with this safe adjustment, and look forward to what the future holds!
What a funny story?
The biggest stamp of approval from Prince came when he posted a picture of three monkeys – two were resuscitating one monkey and Prince added to the meme “The moment you find out somebody at the last piece of Vanessa’s cheesecake….”
Click Here to see invitations on Twitter
He was a funny, funny guy, and this stamp of approval helped spread the word that my cheesecakes, in his opinion, are amazing!
What legacy do you want to leave?
I want to be known in Minnesota as THE best place in the state to get outstanding homemade cheesecake. This journey has been long, but I am committed to growing my brand into an amazing family own business. I want my creations to bring joy and happiness to all dessert lovers who visit the great state of Minnesota.
It brings me great joy to be a full-time entrepreneur, baker and provider of amazing desserts to the Twin Cities. I currently offer curb-side pre-order pickups at Kitchen Space in South Minneapolis, as well as, supply cheesecakes to restaurants in the Twin Cities. In addition, being my own boss allows me to have flexibility raising my two incredible children.
Connect with Cheesecake Funk:
- contact directly: https://www.cheesecakefunk.com/contact-us
Want to nominate a business? Click Below.