Baked Goods / Food Startups / Women's History Month

Candace McQueen: The Cheesecake Queen

Candace McQueen didn’t set out to be in the food business. But cooking was her late husband Jarredd’s passion. One day early in the pandemic, he decided to try his hand at making a cheesecake. It turned out so good; they knew it was something special.

Then, he posted a picture of it on social media, and the requests started pouring in from friends and family. Within a month, they had well over 100 orders. He left a full-time job and began to focus on baking and selling cheesecakes. That’s when Nothing But Cheesecakes, LLC was born.

While Jarredd focused on baking, Candace was his right hand. “I watched and took everything in, learning as much as possible,” she said. “I also handled all the orders, website design, social media marketing & event planning. We were the perfect duo.” 

In 2021, they reached out to Jeff Brown, who owns several ShopRite and Fresh Grocer stores in the Philadelphia area, to discuss the possibility of a pop-up event at one of the stores. He invited them to join Brown’s Business Incubator, a program designed to help small businesses like theirs get into their stores. They participated in a few pop-ups, and the response was overwhelming.

They also started accepted orders on their website. The business took off so much, they had more orders than they could handle. 

At the end of 2021, they decided to take a break and make plans for 2022. That’s when tragedy struck. In December, Jarredd passed away from an unexpected heart attack.

So now, with the help of his siblings and their children, they are doing everything they can to keep his legacy alive and realize the dream he had by continuing the cheesecake business. 

“Jarredd worked so hard that he could leave a legacy for our children,” she emphasized. “We have five children between us, ranging from 10 to 16. Nothing was more important to him than making sure he had something to leave them.”

She started baking the cheesecakes initially as a therapeutic way to cope with the pain, but she knows that keeping the business alive is what he would have wanted.

Nothing But Cheesecakes recently hosted their first pop-up since Jarredd’s passing at the ShopRite of Island Avenue. They featured slices and cheesecake cupcakes in strawberry shortcake, banana pudding, peach cobbler, and Oreo flavors. Everything quickly sold out. 

Now she is looking to the future and keeping the business going with her family, including restarting online orders via the website and future pop-ups.

Follow Nothing But Cheesecakes on Instagram to see what’s next.

Know another woman food entrepreneur following her food business dreams? Get in touch!

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