What is the name of your business?
Peteet's Famous Cheesecakes How many people work for you?
EightWhy did you go into cheesecake business?
As a real estate broker, I often gave cheesecakes as gifts to loyal customers and family members for the holidays. When the real estate market took a down turn, I turned his love for baking into a business and now offer unique cheesecake creations year-round, six days a week at Oak Park's only cheesecake bakery — Peteet's Famous Cheesecakes: home of the two-layer cheesecake. Founded in 2010, the Peteet's Famous Cheesecake is committed to producing the finest cheesecakes in the world. All cheesecakes are made entirely from scratch by hand with fresh, premium ingredients. The result is a rich and creamy, flavorful, irresistible signature two-layer cheesecake. Peteet's Famous Cheesecakes offers more than 16 flavors of the signature two-layer cheesecake, including New York style cheesecake, Key Lime, Sweet Potato and Peanut Butter & Jelly, with plans to feature new flavors on an on-going basis. Peteet's Famous Cheesecake located at 13835 Nine Mile Road, is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 am to 7 pm; Saturday, 11 am to 6 pm; and Sunday 11 am to 5 pm. Wholesale orders are welcome.
Do you think there is support for entrepreneurs in metro Detroit?
I'd like to think so. In some aspects there is because the community where my business is located we certainly have been well received by the people. However, when it comes to tapping into resources to help new businesses grow and develop, that kind of help is not easily accessible.Who are your clients?
Oak Park residents, of course, but we have customers from all walks of life from Detroit and the surrounding suburbs.Where did you get capital to start?
Much of the funds to start Peteet's Famous Cheesecakes came from the sale of the building my father purchased many years ago to run the Peteet Real Estate Company. Proceeds from the sale of the building, along with personal assets were used for capital to start the new business.Does the current economic climate impact your business?
It does when it comes to the purchasing of goods needed to help run my business. When the price of oil goes up, it certainly impacts the cost of flour, eggs, etc. On the other hand, cheesecake is truly a comfort food and not a necessity.
However, in hard economic times I believe that people rely on their comfort food to help make them feel better and it must be true because since we opened in October, our business has been truly blessed.What is your background and how does it tie to what you are doing?
My background is Real Estate, which is a customer service based business. I learned how to treat customers from watching my father in the real estate business while growing up, then as a agent myself in the family business, and then as a broker. Baking was something I always enjoyed since the age of 11. After the real estate market tanked, I married my love of baking with my knack for customer service and making people happy.What advice would you give to starting entrepreneurs?
If you believe in what you're doing go for it. Stay focused and don't allow others to deter you. Never look at failure as failing because if you're trying, you're one step closer to succeeding.
Bankole Thompsonbthompson@michronicle.comMichigan ChronicleNew Michigan Media