Renaissance Cheesecakes

by Terry Watson | July 21st, 2016
Frederick Lee (Photos by Elizabeth Ashley Sutton)

Frederick Lee (Photos by Elizabeth Ashley Sutton)

Frederick Lee is a self described renaissance man. He’s a cook, an artist, a father, and a two-time NC A&T State University graduate who is known to push himself to the limits, and someone that would do anything for his friends and family. Frederick Lee is also the Chef and owner of Renaissance Cheesecakes.

What was once a hobby, Lee turned into a business. After taking his personal favorite White Chocolate Raspberry cheesecake to his family’s annual 4th of July cookout, one of the family members suggested that he should start selling them. That holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, he sold 30 cheesecakes. That was the beginning of Renaissance Cheesecakes.

After spending some time in the culinary program at the Art Institute of Raleigh/Durham to develop his cooking and baking skills, Lee began with just five flavors, which has now grown to more than thirty. The menu continues to grow as new ideas, suggestions, and inspirations pour in. In order to produce the freshest taste possible, each cheesecake is hand made to order with all sauces, crusts, and toppings made from scratch in house. Customers have described the cheesecakes to be “decadent, flavorful and delicious.”

The cheesecakes come in multiple sizes; Small (5 inches), Medium (8 inches), and Large (10 inches). Customers also have the option of ordering the minis which come in quantities of 12 and can be ordered in a single flavor or assorted flavors. These are a great idea for party desserts or just to sample all of the flavors.

Lee says he loves the feedback he receives from those who have tasted his cakes. “The fact that people enjoy something that I created with my mind and my hands, or sometimes being able to witness peoples reactions to tasting the cheesecakes for the first time is a very gratifying, humbling, and motivating thing to me,” he says.

Owning his own bakery surely does come with a strict set of challenges. In addition to being a parent and working a full-time job to ensure that all of his bills are paid, Lee still remains committed to Renaissance Cheesecakes. “I am everything to the business. I take the orders. I get the ingredients and the supplies, bake the cheesecakes and also deliver them. I’m my own street team. I have a little help here and there which I appreciate, but I am the 99% of everything that goes into my business,” he says.

The customers of Renaissance Cheesecakes have also became friends of the business. They have pushed the business as if they were employees. “Word of mouth has been my biggest asset. Almost every new order I receive has been due to someone referring him. It’s the biggest reason why I am where I am today. It’s an affirmation for Lee that he’s on the right path, and that it’s something that he should continue to do.

Moving forward Lee hopes to find a store front location. He also hopes to grow his business to the next level by reaching out to new people who has never heard of Renaissance Cheesecakes. “I have a lot of friends who own and operate their own businesses as their full time job and they love it. It lets me know that it can be done,” says Lee. “This is ultimately a business I want leave my son one day”.

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