ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Located in Briarwood Mall, 24th CC introduces Ann Arbor to more than just cheesecake.
Despite its diverse food scene, from notable vegan eateries to food trucks that have become brick-and-mortar restaurants, Ann Arbor’s far from being a dessert fanatic's favorite place. While tourists and townies alike can find a plethora of ice cream shops, chocolate stores and even a cupcake shop, there seems to be a cheesecake void left in the fabric of the food scene.
In May, 24th CC took over a vacant spot in Briarwood Mall. Owned and operated by Sean Brezzell, along with his family, the cheesecake spot has quickly risen in popularity among passersby and out-of-town guests.
The only cheesecakerie in Ann Arbor, 24th CC offers cheesecake by the slice from its coolers full of creative and inspired cheesecakes, as well as its core cheesecakes.
According to Brezzell, all the flavors have a story to them. Oreo cheesecake comes from Brezzell's childhood love of Oreos. The caramel macchiato flavor is his take on his wife’s regular Starbucks order, and the lemon cheesecake is his competition cheesecake.
But the shop moves beyond traditional cheesecakes by offering vegan-friendly options: plain and strawberry cheesecake. Brezzell said that 24th CC doesn’t use nuts in any of its cheesecakes and the shop uses gluten-free cookies, as well.
While cheesecake may seem like a niche market, Brezzell said that it’s been quite popular. He’s even had customers from out of state ask him to ship them his cheesecake.
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Running 24th CC alongside his mother, Vicki Brezzell and his grandmother, Barb Wilson, Brezzell said that the family has been running a catering company since 1981 and that he started baking cakes with his mom and grandmother as a kid.
“Seven years old baking cakes, decorating wedding cakes and things like that,” Brezzell said. "I went to cake decorating classes and everything when I was 8.”
The business, which has been around for a few years in the form of catering, is more than just cheesecake.
“But the one thing that we really love is that we’re a team. Everything that Mom taught Grandma and then Grandma taught me and then I taught them -- we always share ideas with each other,” said Brezzell.
“One thing about us is that we love to share out knowledge. That’s our core value.” Brezzell said. While he wants others to find inspiration in his business, he also wants to educate people about utilizing their resources. He plans to work with local programs to teach others about running businesses.
But Brezzell doesn’t want to stop with the Briarwood location. He plans to have two additional locations by the end of 2020.
“One thing I really pride myself on is utilizing the tools that I have," Brezzell said. “We’re not cookie-cutter. When you walk here (24th CC) you’ve even got the rug on the ground. When people walk in here, we want them the feel like they’re at home.”
Brezzell wants each location to have the same homey feeling as the Briarwood store, and while he has big plans for expanding, including doing concessions and more catering, he’s thankful for the support he has.
“If it wasn’t for Mom and Grandma, and even my Lisa (Brezzell's wife), I wouldn’t have the drive to do this because, like they say, “If I was doing this for money, I wouldn’t be here.”
24th CC is located inside the Briarwood Mall where it sells its slices for $5 to $7 each. Whole cheesecakes can also be ordered and bought through the shop. You can also find its at Argus Farms.
The cheesecake shop is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
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