Lansing woman launches flourishing cheesecake business

By RACHEL GRECO
Lansing State Journal
AP Member Exchange
LANSING, Mich. — DeAnna Ray-Brown was standing under a 10-foot-by-10-foot hot pink tent off South Martin Luther King Boulevard in single-digit temperatures when it struck her.
This might be something.
Ray-Brown was serving her homemade cheesecake from a cooler on weekends then, more than a year ago, dishing out slices of her creations to customers who shivered while they waited in the bitter cold.
She simply couldn’t believe the weather hadn’t kept them away.
“People were coming outside to a tent to get cheesecake, and it was freezing,” she said to the Lansing State Journal. “That’s when I thought, ‘This is something,’ because who does that?”
Ray-Brown, 38, realized then that Everything is Cheesecake, her passion project, had become a viable business.
Fans of the mobile cheesecake operation now know better than to wait if they want their weekend fix of Ray-Brown’s desserts.
The business is open three days a week, Friday through Sunday, at a kitchen-equipped trailer that sits at 4400 S. Martin Luther King Blvd. Ray-Brown’s inventory, an ever-changing variety of decadent, and often whimsical, cheesecakes, usually sells out within a few hours.
Three years ago Ray-Brown walked into her kitchen, frustrated and drained by a job she’d come to hate.
She was looking for an escape.
Ray-Brown worked in customer service with a car rental company. Five days a week, she took phone calls from people with service complaints and issues.
Working from home compounded the struggle, she said, because at the end of the work day she couldn’t let go of her job.