Today Muddy Paws Cheesecake Co. is hosting its 20th annual cheesecake sampling, which serves as a drive to collect toys for needy children and pet food for pets going hungry. The event features a variety of cheesecake samples courtesy of Muddy Paws and is free to the public with the gift of one unwrapped toy or an unopened bag of pet food. The toys will be donated to the STEP Emergency and Perspectives Family Resource, and the pet food will go to the Pet Project.
|Muddy Paws Cheesecake|
|Sample Muddy Paws' cheesecake free by bringing a toy or bag of pet food to donate|
In addition to the cheesecake you'll find a photo booth, a tweet wall displaying live tweets about the event, and product samplings from 28 local vendors. The annual cheesecake party will also host live music from several Twin Cities musicians.
We talked with Tami Cabrera, owner of Muddy Paws, to find out more about her and her annual soiree.
Can you give us a brief overview of your history with cheesecake?
|Photo: Muddy Paws Cheesecake|
|Muddy Paws owner Tami Cabrera with local food matriarch Sue Zelickson|
I grew up in the hotel and restaurant industry in Chicago and southern Wisconsin. Great cheesecake was easy to be found, and it was a staple of my youth. In college I was able to meet and be inspired by Suzy of Suzy's Cheesecake in Milwaukee. When I moved to the Twin Cities for a job in marketing, I soon found there was no artisan cheesecake. I could only find processed grocery store and food service brands that were drastically different in quality than the old-fashioned kind I grew up on. I started making them for fun, for my office. One thing led to the next and here I am.
This is your 20th annual Cheesecake sampling and toy and pet food drive. What made you decide to do this?
I have always enjoyed cooking for people and entertaining. I also enjoy giving and volunteering. Shortly after I moved to the Twin Cities, I decided to host a dinner party and asked each guest to bring a toy. As I gradually grew Muddy Paws Cheesecake, the annual party became bigger and bigger, and I moved it into the bakery. As it grew I decided to add the pet food donation component, as animals and their welfare are dearest to my heart.
The Facebook event page has 330 people confirmed as going. How many people do you expect overall?
|Photo Courtesy of Muddy Paws Cheesecake|
|Muddy Paws Cheesecake|
If weather stays good, we are hoping for 800 this year. We started with 20 people at that first dinner party, and last year over 600 attended!
Your website boasts that you offer 222 varieties of cheesecake. Which ones will we be able to sample?
Candy Cane, Chocolate Decadence, New York, Heath Bar, Snickers, Oreo, Double Chocolate Chip. Surly Coffee Bender, Mint Chocolate, Egg Nog, Mocha, Caramel Swirl, Banana Cream, Spotted Cow, Key Lime, Baileys Irish Cream, Raspberry Swirl, Turtle, Pumpkin Chai, Chocolate Amaretto, Guinness, Coffee Toffee Caramel Crunch (Tami's Fav), Reeses, Salted Nut Roll, Gluten-Free Raspberry, Gluten-Free Chocolate Decadence, GF Vegan Grasshopper, Vegan Raspberry, and Vegan Chocolate Amaretto.
Any final thoughts about the event?
People that come tend to come back every year. It's a lot of fun, and the vendors who are exhibiting have great local products. Be sure to use our website directions and keep in mind that we are in an industrial park (not a retail area). The more toys and food we can collect the better! And kids are welcome. They love the photo booth and squiggle artist. And eat cheesecake the whole time.
7600 W. 27th St., Commons B, Minneapolis
7600 W. 27th St., Minneapolis, MN