"Hey you should sell these"
Don't be daft I thought, or were they being daft??? I knew my cheesecake tasted good, GREAT EVEN!!! After all I had spent the four years previous testing, tweaking and refining an authentic baked New York Cheesecake recipe to the point I could call it my own. But would people really buy it?
I decided if I was going to sell these cheesecakes I needed a set of rules.
- I was going to put flavour first. I'm not an artist and I could never pretend to be. I had bought to many fancy looking cakes only to be let down when it came to flavour or texture. I wasn't going to fall into that trap, so I decided my cheesecakes would be served simply with my signature whipped cream and a little decoration and boy would they taste good.
- I was going to put customer service at the heart of what I do. If it wasn't right, if I messed up, if there was an issue or a problem then it was clear in my mind that I would fix it and fix it quickly.
Two rules! Two simple rules, that I knew if I worked by I could call myself a success no matter how many cheesecakes I sold.
Beyond an idea
That was 2012. With my rules in place I started my Facebook page and I was ready to sell. Within a month I had my first sale, but I was stood up. Undeterred I sliced up that cheesecake and posted a picture of it on Facebook and declared that I had 16 slices of "cheesecake for sale" with free delivery in Dundee. Success!!! I sold all 16 slices of the cheesecake in my first hour.
Cheesecake of the Week was born
It was a simple concept, I would set a different cheesecake flavour every week, slice it and offer free delivery direct to the customers door. Oh and we'd deliver it with a big smile.
Within a month things had snowballed, I was selling 160 slices of cheesecake in under 7 minutes.
The cheesecakes kept selling and selling well. Dundee Cheesecakes was the talk of the water cooler, word of mouth spread fast and the page quickly boasted over 3000 likes on Facebook.
Since then Hometown Cheesecakes has developed 64 different recipes (sadly we can't sell them all here), we have racked up over 9000 likes with a 4.9 customer review rating on Facebook. I don't mind saying that missing 0.1 bugs me but I want to get it right. The Cheesecake of the Week deliveries are still going strong and now serves Dundee and Forfar. Our cheesecakes can be found in a number outlets in Dundee and we are producing whole cakes direct to customers.
Most excitingly for us at the moment is that we have dedicated time in setting up a presence at local farmers markets and are now presently at 6 venues throughout Scotland. To find us click here - Farmers Market Events
I didn't start this with a business plan in fact I've just tried to apply commonsense, do what I think is right and trust my instincts. What that means for Hometown Cheesecakes going forward is that our online store is now live serving the immediate Dundee area with a view to ship nationally by the end of 2019. We intend on increasing our Farmers Market presence and expand our cheesecake of the week offer into the towns and cities surrounding Dundee. And dare I dream about a bricks and mortar store...I think I will dare.
No matter how Hometown Cheesecakes grows we'll follow our simple rules and ensure that we put flavour first and offer amazing customer service.