Though she has four children, three dogs and two birds, Tami Cabrera still manages to own and very successfully operate Muddy Paws Cheesecake. An entrepreneur since the age of 9 when she began her first business as a babysitter, Tami operates her current business (and her life) with a strong conviction and commitment to giving back to the world. The award-winning Muddy Paws has been recognized by many prestigious publications and organizations, including "Best All American Dessert" — MN Monthly; "Best Cheesecake to Go" — MSP Magazine; "Best of the Knot" — 2007, 2008, 2009; "Best Eats" — Coffee Festival; "Outstanding Business Achievement" — Twin Cities; and "Social Media Marketer of the Year" — MN Meetings and Events Magazine, 2010. For more info about Muddy Paws, go to www.muddypaws.com or follow them on Twitter - @mpcheesecake.
Whether you’re looking for dessert for that big company gathering, searching for a promotional item to distinguish yourself in the marketplace or shopping for the perfect holiday gift for your clients, you can never go wrong with cheesecake. And though it’s been around since the days of the Ancient Greeks, cheesecake still ranks in the top ten list of the most popular dessert items in America. Tami Cabrera, founder of an iconic Minnesota classic, Muddy Paws Cheesecake, dishes on the many reasons cheesecake is the must-have treat for corporate gatherings and gifts
Q. Tell me briefly about Muddy Paws Cheesecake?
A. After growing up in the restaurant industry and around great Chicago cheesecake, I wanted to create a cheesecake product all my own. After attending veterinary school in 1993, I started Muddy Paws Cheesecake really just as a fun hobby. But it took off and now we have more flavors than anyone else in the world — 222 flavors and counting.
Q. Why does cheesecake work so well at meetings or as gifts?
A. For meetings, cheesecake is functional because it can be kept in the freezer for up to six weeks and then can be brought out when it’s needed. It keeps really well; the quality doesn’t change because it’s made with fresh ingredients. It’s also versatile, so it can be cut into squares, small slices or big slices to accommodate many people while still fitting into a budget. And it’s not messy like pie or cake. It’s very self-contained. Plus, everyone likes cheesecake.
Q. Cheesecake seems pretty basic. What if a planner wants to send something really different?
A. With more than 200 flavors, we can always find something for everyone. We can do samplers, with up to 12 flavors in one cake. Plus, we can accommodate diet restrictions because we offer gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free and even vegan options.
Q. When should a planner start thinking about purchasing treats like this for a holiday events or corporate gift giving?
A. It seems like most begin ordering for holiday gatherings and corporate gifts around October or November. At Muddy Paws, we work on short or long notice and all the way up to December 23rd. We also ship nationwide.
Q. Are perishable foods difficult to ship? What does that entail?
A. We send out 1500 cakes a month during the holidays, so we’re pretty used to it. In fact, we’ve developed special packaging that includes a freezy pack insert that keeps the cheesecake cold for several days. What’s really nice about cheesecake as a gift is that it keeps so well — four days in the fridge or six weeks in the freezer. That way if the recipient is getting a lot of treats, they can still store the cheesecake for later.
Q. What kind of feedback do you receive from clients who have included your cheesecakes in their holiday gathering or sent them as holiday gifts to corporate clients?
A. We have so many people who come back every year, because the people to whom they’re sending the cheesecake are waiting for it and excited to receive it. So we have a lot of repeat customers.
Q. Anything else?
A. Cheesecake has star power — both Hugh Heffner and George Lucas ordered cakes from us last year.