This weeks Meet a Mom is the hard working and successful, Deanna Ray-Brown. Deanna is a busy mom of three who started a cheesecake business right here in the Greater-Lansing area, Everything is Cheesecake! Her story is not only successful, it is awe inspiring! She began selling cheesecake slices under a pink tent on weekends – now she is operating out of her own food truck!
Deanna’s cheesecakes have become so popular! She has people lining up on the weekends and most times always sells out!
She explains, My journey hasn’t been fast, but nothing worth having ever is. This is my marathon and I am looking forward to the many memories and milestones to come. 🙂 Welcome, Deanna!
How many kids do you have and what are their ages? What is your favorite thing about being a mom?
I have 3 kids and a bonus fur baby 🐶. The best part of being a mom to me is having someone to love and love you back unconditionally forever. I really enjoy watching my children grow and experience new things daily.
What do you love about living in the Greater Lansing area? What’s your favorite restaurant and/or place to shop in the Greater Lansing area?
I absolutely love the Lansing community and the sense of selflessness. My favorite restaurants are mainly local small business establishments. I enjoy breakfast bagels from Goodfellas Bagel Deli, coffee from Strange Matter, and my favorite BBQ spot is The Smoke ‘N Pig. My family likes to shop locally at MoneyBall Sportswear
What inspired you to start Everything is Cheesecake, how did it evolve?
I started my business within my home while working full time for a fortune 500 company. I was mentally exhausted from my career and was in desperate need of something new. I began experimenting and creating my own cheesecake and cake recipes for family and friends to enjoy. On the weekends I would sell cheesecake by the slice under a small pink tent. Once I gained enough positive feedback from reoccurring and new customers, I stepped out on faith, quit my job and never looked back.
What’s the best thing about your job? Most challenging part?
Aside from interacting with customers. I would say the best part about my job is the ability to bake happiness and put a smile on a customers face. There is nothing more rewarding than hearing a customer tell me it’s simply the BEST cheesecake they have ever had. The most challenging part of my business is not being able to keep up with the growing demands. I guess you can say I’m experiencing some “growing pains” lol.
How do you juggle work with being a mom?
I am learning to become more and more organized each day. I write everything down, sometimes twice lol. But, seriously my family is my first priority, I try my best to make sure the needs of my household is met first, once that is done it gives me more time to constructively focus on my business.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another mom?
The best advice I received from a mom was to not rush anything, instead to slow down, take a deep breath and trust in knowing everything will eventually work out and hopefully in your favor. And if that doesn’t work, pour a good glass of wine and sip to the last drop.
What’s your advice to moms in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis to make life a little easier? How has your job changed during COVID-19?
My advice to moms during these crazy times would be to try not to drive your kids or yourself crazy. As mothers, we can often forget about our own needs as women, and those frustrations can topple over in other ways. My mom always told me that an exhausted (mentally, physically, or emotionally) mommy is not a good mommy. So try no to neglect the small things that will give you your own sense of personal peace and make your soul happy.
What is something you wish was in the Greater Lansing area?
Something I wish was in the Greater Lansing area was more family fun entertainment and definitely a more vibrant night life.
Now some fun ones!
Your favorite cheesecake flavor to make – My most favorite cheesecake to
make is Turtle Brownie Bottom. That flavor is my most favorite because I am a real sucker
for fresh baked brownies warm from the oven. When I bake that flavor I always make sure to cut myself a small little piece for own personal moment of enjoyment.
A fun fact about you – A fun fact about me is that although I love to bake and create new flavor cheesecakes, I really don’t share that same creativity when it comes to cooking. I most always look to Pinterest for inspiration, that app is definitely my BFF.
Strangest thing in your purse right now – Strangest thing in my purse right now is a mini Polly pocket doll that my youngest daughter asked me to hold and keep safe forever. This little doll has literally been in my purse for over a year!! Oh the sweet joys of being a mother!!
Where is your happy place – My most happiest place is in the kitchen baking. Its in there where I feel the most free to allow my creativity to flow.
Last question, who is your mentor in this business – My mentor is my mother, she is my truest she-ro. She has literally taught me everything I know about baking. As a kid, I would watch her create some of the most delicious cakes, cookies and pies. Although, she may not know, she definitely helped to mold me into the baker I am today and for that I am so grateful.
Everything is Cheesecake is located at 5443 Cedar St, Lansing – Saturdays & Sundays from 1 – 4pm or until sold out.
You can also place an order by calling 517-862-2979.
She accepts whole cheesecake orders and pick-ups Wednesday thru Sunday.
Mention this article and receive $1.00 off a piece of cheesecake, now through 3/13/21!
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