Hi, I’m Daniel Monkonjay Gray – aka Uncle Cheesecake. Let me tell you a story about how I went from “the guy who made cheesecakes” to “Uncle Cheesecake”.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Uncle Cheesecake’s official story began in 2014. It was a long road before that. The whole thing was kind of like an opportunity that fell into my lap; see, my favorite dessert in all the world is Cheesecake but I just couldn’t find one that TRULY satisfied my tastebuds. I experimented with lots of recipes I found online… I didn’t LOVE any of them, not one!
In 2012, I originally set out to create the perfect cheesecake recipe for my personal use. It wasn’t an easy task! After very many mediocre cakes over a span of about 2 years I finally found what I considered to be the perfect cheesecake recipe which is now the “Uncle Cheesecake’s Special Recipe.” Of course, I believe the time spent was all worth it!
I coined my special recipe as “Carolina Style Cheesecake”. It’s light, smooth, delicately sweet, and did I mention it’s light?
After I finally figured out the perfect recipe, Being raised with good southern manners of course, I would always take this “Carolina Style” cheesecake to events, friends houses, or cookouts. I think I may have often been invited to parties because they knew I would bring a cheesecake.
Once I began playing with new and fun flavors. I discovered which ones were a success among my friends; they would oftentimes tell me I ruined Store bought cheesecake FOREVER!!!
Friends kept asking for me to do a flavor oops I mean “favor”(hahah…DAD JOKE!!!) and bake them one. Curious I posted something about selling cheesecakes. I was shocked since I wasn’t really that serious to see how excited those I knew were! I couldn’t believe how many people I knew were just waiting on me to start selling cheesecakes. Of course, this was before I was officially “Uncle Cheesecake”
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
Oh, did I forget to tell you how I got my name? I was having so much fun reminiscing about the early years I forgot to tell.
When my wife and I started dreaming up our first location, we knew we needed a name as special to us as our story.
Well it’s a named that kind of just happened to me.
I was “the guy who made cheesecakes” for a long time. After realizing that I was going to take my baking more serious, I figured that I needed a name for the company.
Someone was already calling me Uncle Cheesecake. One of my close friends I served in the Marine Corps with had a beautiful daughter named Brooklyn. My friend would often bring Brooklyn around. As any good Uncle I enjoyed playing with her or holding her. As she was growing up he would hand her to me, and say “go to Uncle Cheesecake.” It quickly became what my girlfriend, his wife and he would always say.
Looking back now, I chuckle At those times, I didn’t think much of it then. Nor did I realize it would be exactly who’d I become, Brooklyn’s Uncle Cheesecake!!!
It is with great gratitude for God, my family, friends, and the love and support of our community that I am Uncle Cheesecake.
Uncle Cheesecake has been voted best Sweets in NC as part of the 2019 Carolina's Finest Awards, presented by Carolina Country magazine