The Cheesecake Factory
July 24, 2021
Detroit, Michigan, 1940s…
In 1949 Evelyn Overton baked a cheesecake for her husband’s employer. She had found the recipe in the local newspaper and decided to give it a try. It proved to be quite a recipe because it inspired her “Original” Cheesecake. She made more of these cheesecakes and with rave reviews from everyone who tasted them, she opened a small cheesecake shop in Detroit, Michigan.
When Evelyn’s two children came along, she moved her baking equipment to a kitchen that she had set up in her basement. This ingenious move allowed her to continue baking cheesecakes and to supply them to several of Detroit’s upscale restaurants while still raising her family.
Evelyn and Oscar follow their dream…
In 1972 Evelyn and Oscar decided it was time to finally follow their dream. With their children grown, the couple moved to Los Angeles where they opened a wholesale bakery called The Cheesecake Factory Bakery and began selling Evelyn’s cheesecakes and other desserts to restaurants throughout Los Angeles. Before long, Evelyn was baking more than 20 varieties of cheesecakes and other desserts.
In 1978 following in his parents’ footsteps, their son David decided to open a restaurant in Beverly Hills, California, to showcase his mother’s amazing cheesecakes. Needless to say, the restaurant was a huge and immediate success.
David’s restaurant, The Cheesecake Factory
When David opened his first restaurant in Beverly Hills, his single-page menu included salads, sandwiches and 10 varieties of cheesecake. In 1983, he opened his second restaurant in Marina del Rey and by 1987, his Beverly Hills location had grown into a 78-seat restaurant. Success was at David’s door and he soon opened a third location, which was a whopping 300-seat, 21,000 square-foot restaurant. The original one-page menu was replaced by one with a wider offering of both fast-food and short-order items.
In the 1990s, the first Cheesecake Factory outside of California was opened in Washington, D.C. The business was incorporated in 1992 and went public in September 1993.
To broaden its menu and appeal to a larger audience, the company began changing its menu twice a year, adding steaks, seafood and vegetarian dishes. By 1995 The Cheesecake Factory was ranked 11th in the United States.
On August 16, 2012, The Cheesecake Factory opened a new 300-seat location at the Dubai Mall in the United Arab Emirates. May 2014 saw the opening of the first Asian Cheesecake Factory in Disneytown in Pudong, Shanghai, China. The business continued to expand with locations in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Doho Qatar. There are also three Cheesecake Factories located in Mexico.
In May 2017, a Hong Kong store opened in Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui.
The Cheesecake Factory expanded into Canada in November 2017, with a restaurant at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto, Ontario.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Ottawa, Ontario, will soon see a Cheesecake Factory!
Communications and Marketing
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