PEOPLE IN THE KNOW: DEANNA RAY BROWN: THE CHEESECAKE CONNOISSEUR
Friday, December 14, 2018

 

Ask Lansingnites where to find the best cheesecake and they will tell you that the Everything is Cheescake truck can be found at Friday through Sunday between 1 and 5 pm at 4400 S Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd in Lansing, MI.  When Everything is Cheescake posts a menu, social media erupts with orders and they are usually sold out before the end of the day.  If you have experienced their rich, fluffy and creamy desserts you know how decadent they are.  So we wanted to know where the magic was created and who held the miraculous “most delicious cheesecake” wand.

Photo:  Deana Ray Brown and her famous Superman Cheesecake.

 
NAME: Deanna Ray Brown

BUSINESS: Everything is Cheesecake:  Customized Cheesecakes for every Occasion

POSITION:  Head of all things Cheescake 
 
 
 
1. How many types of cheesecakes do you make and name your top ten?  Do you have holiday or special orders for specific times of year?
 
Wow! I make so many different types of cheesecakes, mainly because I do custom orders the flavors can get pretty wild. I would have to say that my top 10 cheesecake flavors are Strawberry Shortcake Crunch, Banana Pudding, Peach Cobbler, Oreo Overload, Blue Cookie Monster, Turtle Brownie Bottom, Banana Split, Salted Carmel Apple Strudel, Carrot Cake and Red Velvet Cheesecakes. 
 
2. How long have you been in business?  Who taught you how to cook?  How did you begin to focus on cheesecakes only? 
 
I have been baking cheesecakes now for about 4 years. However, I just opened my cheesecake food truck August of this year. For me, my baking comes from my mother Berniece Ray. She was well known for her southern style baking of many delectables but mainly specializing in Molasses Cookies and Tea Cakes. I chose to specialize in cheesecakes because I felt there was a need in my local community. I mean, we have many bakeries around town, but none of them specialized in cheesecake. Plus, I was tired of commuting to the Cheesecake Factory for a decent slice of cheesecake lol. 
 
3. It is common for those who work in the food industry to have other family members that are great cooks too.  Do you have other great cooks in your family and what is their specialty.
 
Aside from my mother, my sister Denise Lopez (Ray) makes the best Pound Cakes and Cookie Bars and my niece Alleah Smith (Ray) makes delicious cakes that are beautifully decorated. In addition, both my daughters DeAsia and Skylar too are excellent in baking and decorating cupcakes and such.  I guess you can say, we all got our natural niche of baking and great recipes from my mother. 
 
4. We hear that you use the freshest ingredients possible for your cheesecakes and put so much passion into each creation.  Where did you learn that skill from?
 
To me quality is everything and it was extremely important for my products to reflect my core values and integrity of my business. Lets just say, I am a “foodie” who believes that desserts should look good, but they should taste even better than they look. The only way to achieve this is by using the best quality ingredients available on the market. 
 
5. What made you decide to choose a food truck over a brick and mortar building?  Was it a hard process?
 
When I first began selling cheesecakes I did so out of a cooler under my pink tent. During those times, I would often dream of a food truck that I could travel with to various cities and states spreading cheesecake goodness to everyone. Because, I knew a brick and mortar had tons of overhead cost I felt a truck would be a better option for me at this point. However, I do have bigger dreams that includes multiple brick and mortars lol. 
 
6. In the last three months, how many cheesecake slices have you made?  What is your fondest experience?
 
Oh my gosh, I don't even know how many cheesecake slices I have made thus far. I get so wrapped up in doing what I love that I have lost count. My most fondest experience while baking cheesecake was when I was making a German Chocolate Cheesecake. It was my eldest brother Danny (who is now deceased) most favorite cake. Every time I whip up a batter I do so with him in mind. He was also a great cook, who too taught me a lot in regards to cooking, baking and being an entrepreneur. I miss him dearly. 
 
7. You give to the community a lot by also adding extra food items for free like tacos to your cheesecake slice sales? 
 
I too was once a single mother and on welfare and at times would struggle to make ends meet. I always knew if God made me able I would do my part in assisting even if it was just one meal whenever I could to help out another parent who may be struggling. For me, it feels great to receive blessings, but it feels much greater to be a blessing. 
 
 
8.  What do you love most about what you do?  
 
Just waking up and doing what Im most passionate about in life and truly living out my God given purpose. I am also blessed to have many great customers. Interacting with them and the feedback I receive after they have had my cheesecakes gives me the most gratification. 
 
Follow Everything is Cheescake (Lansing) on Facebook.
 
 Photo:  Strawberry Shortcake Crunch Cheesecake.
 
 
“People In the Know" asks questions that provoke thought and encourages others to dream.  Let us know who you think we should "know".  Remember they can be someone that you enjoy talking to every single day or the cashier at your favorite store.   Contact us at 517-372-8466 or rinarisper.tncp@gmail.  Log on to www.tncp.net.
 
 

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