Just five months after launching a cheesecake business during the government shutdown, sisters Nikki Howard and Jaqui Wright have seen nothing but success. Now, their Furlough Cheesecakes will soon be sold at more than 100 Walmart stores across the country.
Last January, Howard and Wright had to find another source of income after being furloughed during the partial government shutdown. That's when they decided to sell homemade cheesecakes. Their story quickly began viral after being interviewed by local media. And when they got featured on The Ellen Show, orders came rushing in from all over the country.
"Almost instantly, we had thousands of orders," Wright told ABC 7. "I was trying to think how we were going to make a hundred, and then we got requests for thousands."
With the business' rapid growth, Howard and Wright already quit their jobs at the federal government. They are also now renting an industrial kitchen space for more room to work and fill orders, especially now that their cheesecakes will be sold at Walmart!
"We're so very excited we're able to share a little slice of smile," said Howard. "Walmart! The Walmart! Our cheesecakes will be there in August!"
Starting August 18, their cheesecakes -- the 3-inch individual serving size -- will be for sale at about a hundred Walmart stores throughout the DMV. Their cheesecakes are now also available at the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Club.
As somehow beginners in the entrepreneurial world, both Howard and Wright continues learning along the way. And they compared it to what they have known for long -- cooking.
"When you're building a recipe, you have to try some things and maybe it doesn't work quite the way you wanted it, so then you tweak it and perfect it until it's just right," Howard said. "And with your business, there are times things don’t go exactly the way you want them to go. But, make a few tweaks and keep going. You learn!"
Meanwhile, even though they aren't basically furloughed already, they meant to still keep the company name The Furlough Cheesecake.
"Because it means something," Wright said. "You know, we were furloughed, but now we're in control of our destiny. So we couldn't let go of the name."
For more information about The Furlough Cheesecake or to order online, visit www.thefurloughcheesecake.com