The Surprising Way The Cheesecake Factory Got Started

Cheesecake is one of the most heavenly substances ever invented. Sure, books and electricity are good and all, but they're not quite a creamy cinnamon swirl piece of cheesecake. We might even go as far as saying that teaching children how to make this dessert would be far more beneficial than lecturing them about math.

One of the greatest providers of beautiful cheesecakes is — surprise, surprise — The Cheesecake Factory. Operating more than 200 outlets worldwide (via Statista) and serving up additional food ranging from salmon entrees to fruity cocktails, the company's grand culinary expertise has generated great success with average sales around $7.8 million per location (also noted by Statista). However, setting up The Cheesecake Factory was far from a piece of cake.

Of course, no organization begins as a mighty global conglomerate. The Cheesecake Factory had very humble beginnings, originating in Detroit in the 1940s when Evelyn Overton discovered a recipe in a local newspaper. Harnessing the idea, Overton developed her own take on an original cheesecake that was very popular among family and friends, and then added personal twists along the way (via the official website).

The Cheesecake Factory has always been a family operation

Seeing the heaps of praise she got for her dessert, Overton decided to set up a small cheesecake shop in town, dishing out her glorious product to the local Detroit community (via Vice). But, as two children came along, Overton wanted to ensure that her family came first. So she moved out of the shop and started to make her delicacies in the basement of her home, serving the sweet treats to restaurants in the nearby neighborhood, says Fox Business

Overton continued this business until the 1970s when she and her husband Oscar moved the family to Los Angeles and used up all their hard-earned cash to open the original Cheesecake Factory Bakery, eventually producing 20-plus flavors of cheesecake and other desserts, according to the restaurant's official website

It was Evelyn Overton's son, David, who transformed the business into what it is today, launching the company's first restaurant in 1978 in Beverly Hills and the rest, as they say, is history. Even today, Evelyn Overton's original cheesecake recipe is kept totally secret by the restaurant group, unknown to the outside world, according to Taste of Home.