THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY BEGINNINGS
The story of The Cheesecake Factory begins with Oscar & Evelyn Overton, raising their two children in a small duplex in Detroit, Michigan. They were a family of humble means in their early years. Evelyn stayed at home with the kids, David and Renee, and refined her talents in the kitchen. She quickly became known to family and friends as an exceptionally gifted cook and baker. Nowhere was Evelyn's talent more prevalent than in baking her legendary one-of-a-kind New York style cheesecake. That recipe is the very same recipe that goes on to fuel and inspire the creation of an American success story: The Cheesecake Factory.
The Overtons were hard working, determined and resourceful people. While the couple had always dreamed of owning a successful business, their first priority was raising their children. Their dream would have to wait, but not for long.
The Year that started it all was 1949. Evelyn baked on of her classic cheesecakes as a gift for Oscar's boss, a well-connected businessman. After tasting the dessert, the man requested that Evelyn bake additional cakes that he could give as gifts to his associates. Before long, the requests for cakes began to mount, and the Overton's basement became the first bustling cheesecake Factory bakery. It was a true family business: Evelyn would bake the cheesecakes, David and Renee folded pink cardboard boxes, and Oscar peddles and sold the product.
In 1971, with the business having long outgrown the basement, and David and Renee having outgrown their childhood, Oscar & Evelyn decided that the time was ripe to advance their dream to the next level. They relocated their cheesecake enterprise to the west coast, where they used the last of their savings to open a small bakery in North Hollywood, California. Evelyn baked and managed the office, while Oscar continued to concentrate on sales. Renee worked a day job and would help with baking at night.
The year 1975 marked a defining moment for the new and quickly growing Cheesecake Factory. David finished college and joined his parents' company full-time, and he had ambitious plan for his parent's growing and thriving company. He make his vision a reality in 1978, when he opened the first restaurant to showcase his mother's increasingly popular cheesecakes. The rest, as they say, is history. David has since worked tirelessly to refine The Cheesecake Factory, Inc. with an exciting and fresh menu that is constantly evolving. Today there are 306 restaurants throughout the United States and Canada under brands including The Cheesecake Factory, North Italia and a collection within our Fox Restaurant Concepts business. Internationally, 29 The Cheesecake Factory restaurants operate under licensing agreements. Our bakery division operates two facilities that produce quality cheesecakes and other baked products.
The dedication and commitment of David Overton, along with his parents Oscar & Evelyn, and his sister Renee, have made The Cheesecake Factory the success that it is today. that success is maintained by a tireless commitment to adhere to the highest quality standards of food and service. With their entrepreneurial drive, enthusiasm and careful attention to detail, the legacy of the Overton family and The Cheesecake Factory is bound to remain and inspire for years to come.
As a part of the company's continuing legacy, The Cheesecake Factory Oscar & Evelyn Overton Charitable Foundation was established in 2001. Its purpose is to enhance the well-being of our restaurants' surrounding communities, and to unite our staff members behind common causes. Fulfilling that purpose is made possible by your generous support today - thank you.