The Tennessean was kind enough to stop by last week for a quick chat and tour of our new bakery. It's always fun showing guests around the bakery, and Matt (Reporter) and Larry (Photographer), were no exception. Links to the articles are below. We hope you enjoy the photos and the article.
Valerie Wilson started Tennessee Cheesecake 30 years ago in her
kitchen. Her son, Will, was 1 at the time. He now works with her at the
bakery. / Photos by Larry McCormack / The Tennessean
Matt Anderson | The Tennessean
Tara and Andy Gower put cherries on cheesecakes. The company
makes 24 different kinds of cheesecake. While wholesale sales dominate,
the company also sells to consumers.
Each cheesecake is sliced, wrapped, packaged and frozen.
Tennessee Cheesecake makes its desserts in a 10,000-square-foot bakery
in Mt. Juliet.
Mt. Juliet might be known as the city between the lakes and the
home of Charlie Daniels, but among its lesser-known exports is the
Creamier than the New York-style cheesecake,
the Tennessee Cheesecake is distinguished by its thick, honey graham
cracker and pecan crust.
Tennessee Cheesecake president Valerie Wilson perfected the recipe through trial and error.
Everything she touches is amazing, said Will Wilson, executive vice president. Shes a Swiss Army Knife of cooking.
The mother-and-son operated Tennessee Cheesecake company relocated to Mt. Juliet last year.
distributes its desserts to area restaurants, and sells directly to
customers online and at its Industrial Drive headquarters.
its 30th year, Valerie got the idea for a cheesecake company after
hearing about another cheesecake maker on a Phil Donahue segment on
She didnt want to put Will, then 1, in daycare, so she began working on her recipe out of the familys kitchen.
graham cracker crusts unlike the traditional shortbread were
becoming popular, right as Wilson was ready to start selling
I dont think they copied little ol me, but everything fell into place, she said.
Wilson got her first break when the Fifth Quarter Steakhouse in Nashville added her cheesecakes to the menu.
brought some credibility and more restaurant customers to buy her
cheesecakes. Soon enough, local chefs were asking food distributors to
add the desserts to lists of available food.
By then, she was out
of the family kitchen and cooking in the basement, which had been
converted to the commercial kitchen. The company quickly outgrew a
Charlotte Pike facility and moved to a 10,000-square-foot bakery in Mt.
Will Wilson joined the business in 2002 after studying
music in college. It started as a part-time job, but he found ways the
business could improve, and now mother and son are partners in business.
He modernized the companys inventory system, and the efficiency allowed for more sales.
pushed his mother to try new recipes, increasing their offerings from
three to 24 cheesecakes and adding pecan, chess and fudge pies.
are still 98 percent of the business, but now, customers anywhere in
the United States can order a Tennessee Cheesecake at www.tennesseecheesecake.com.