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The Inspiring Journey of Vanessa Drews: Building Cheesecake Funk

Updated: Jan 7


Welcome cheesecake lovers! Have you ever wondered how Cheesecake Funk came to be? I thought I'd share a nice brief summary for anyone wondering as a refresher or anyone interested in how I took a crazy idea, a dream and built a women-led cheesecake business in the heart of Minneapolis, Minnesota! Writers Note: One thing is for sure, follow your dreams, for one day they WILL come true.


From Senior Paralegal to Cheesecake Maestro

The journey of creating cheesecakes began out of my home kitchen in 2002. I began baking more and more, and knew I had something when friends and family kindly demanded my cheesecake at all celebrations and holiday gatherings.


Baking at home was something I always enjoyed doing in my spare time while working as a Senior Paralegal at Robins Kaplan LLP.


The Ultimate Dessert at Paisley Park

Fast forward to 2013, I had the incredible opportunity sell merchandise at Paisley Park during concerts and events hosted by Prince. Because I really enjoyed creating cheesecakes for many years prior to this, I thought it would be a “Minnesota nice” thing to bring cheesecakes into work for people who worked at Paisley Park and band members in town rehearsing.


Little did I know that a certain musical genius would find the himself looking in the fridge to see and try my cheesecakes for himself. He, Prince, wouldn’t be quiet about his fondness for my cheesecakes for long though.


Soon after finding cheesecakes in the fridge at Paisley Park, Prince began referencing to them on invitations to Paisley Park and in a funny meme on Twitter about running out of cheesecake.


Prince tweet about Vanessa Drews's Cheesecake with monkeys having a heart attack

Embracing Entrepreneurship: The Birth of Cheesecake Funk

In August of 2019, I made a huge leap of faith and stepped away from my nearly 20 year legal career to embark on my ultimate passion; full-time baker and entrepreneur.


I have overcome a great deal trying to navigate through the pandemic, but have an even greater amount of determination and willpower to continue to grow my brand for the world to enjoy.


Business Challenges During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Stepping away from the security of an amazing company to being my own boss - and just before a global pandemic - has provided me with many, many teachable moments.


My top teachable moments as a first time business owner starting in 2019:


  • Being unable to qualify for many pandemic related resources as a newly opened business.

  • The difficulties of navigating my household as a single mother of two.

  • Distance learning as a small business owner.

  • Taking precautionary measures to stay healthy and protect all my customers to avoid Covid-19 and keep the business running efficiently.

  • Making sure that all of my restaurant partners have plenty of cheesecakes to offer guests.


Since early 2020, this journey has been one I will never forget and I am very thankful to all my new and loyal customers that have purchased from Cheesecake Funk to keep my dreams alive.


I say all of this to encourage myself and others to trust the path and always continue to forge forward, even if the road you're on seems difficult.


How to Order the Best Cheesecake in Minneapolis

Currently, Cheesecake Funk is based out of the Minneapolis Marriott Southwest hotel, in Minnetonka. I supply cheesecakes to numerous restaurants and markets across the Twin Cities, as well as, featured daily for guests who visit Paisley Park in Chanhassen, MN.


Customers may also pre-order cheesecakes directly through the our online shop and please allow 2-3 business days for us to fulfill your orders.


I am always eager to connect with customers, so reach out at any time should you have additional questions, at vanessa@cheesecakefunk.com or visit our FAQ section for popular quick questions and answers.


Bigger Dreams and Future Growth

My dream is to continue growing Cheesecake Funk so that people from all over the world know it as a household name. With your continued support, I believe this dream will one day become a reality.


I hope to be in a position to grow into my own commercial kitchen facility in the future. I know that once a location that will fit Cheesecake Funk's needs comes to be, things will roll in the right direction.


Please keep Cheesecake Funk in mind for any celebrations, wedding events, business meetings, employee appreciation gifts, or just to enjoy with dinner. Preorders can be made at anytime, as well as, gift certificate options through the website.


For anyone who has the desire to help this small business grow, donations can be made here as well: Donate to Small Business Owners - Cheesecake Funk


Thank you for your support, enjoying Cheesecake Funk and being a wonderful community of cheesecake/dessert loving folks!






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