We had a hunch about Daryl “DJ” Myers as he walked up to get his Providence Culinary Training diploma last December. We weren’t sure what it was, but we thought that he was about to make something good happen.
Nine short months later, something good has happened: something very good, especially if you have a sweet tooth. DJ has launched the already successful DJ’s Cheesecakes, making and selling his homemade cheesecakes in an incredible variety of flavors.
It was clear to us that a successful graduation from PCT wasn’t the end of DJ’s story, but, of course, DJ’s story doesn’t start with PCT either. After working for years as a CNA and getting in trouble with the law, DJ decided he wanted to make his own way independently and find something he truly loved to do that would fill his life and heart. With the help of Goodwill Industries, he found PCT, which he thought would be a good fit because he already loved to cook.
PCT students learn a lot of things, from kitchen safety and protocol to knife skills: some days you can find the students finely dicing buckets upon buckets of carrots and celery and looking a little weary. Over the 13 weeks they are enrolled, PCT students learn how to prepare dressings and sauces, roasts and briskets, and soups from recipes that serve hundreds. But it was the day that they learned about cheesecake that DJ knew he was hooked.
He posted a picture of the cheesecakes he made on social media and the response was incredible. He truly enjoyed making them and wanted to perfect the art; the response from social media indicated there must be a market. So, DJ made his first attempt at selling his cheesecakes during Thanksgiving last year–and he was more successful than he had ever expected. This was something needed to take seriously.
DJ’s Cheesecakes has now become an established business. He says the response has been unbelievable and is “motivation in itself.” He sells whole cheesecakes and slices on a weekly basis throughout Winston-Salem; he is even selling to various restaurants and businesses throughout town, like Sweet Aromas, mini markets, and of course, Second Harvest’s Providence Restaurant and Providence Kitchen!
DJ debuted his Red Velvet Oreo Cheesecake in February at Providence. Now, for our new Fall Menu he has created a delicious Pumpkin Cheesecake which was also featured in Forsyth Woman’s Rosie’s Review for the new menu.
We are, clearly, huge supporters and fan’s of DJ’s Cheesecakes. He says his friends and family are a huge support as well—some of his biggest advocates. DJ obviously spends a lot of time making cake, but he doesn’t want to want to lose sight of what’s important: his family, friends and the relationships he’s creating with his new business.
DJ says that his time and training at PCT “is the root of everything that I’m trying to accomplish” For DJ, PCT means “unlimited possibilities.” We can all see that in everything DJ has achieved thus far.
Do you want to try a slice of DJ’s Cheesecakes? Come to either of our Providence locations for his delicious Pumpkin Cheesecake or keep up with where he is during the week on his Facebook Page!