In Sacha Granger’s eyes, beauty comes in ordinary things.
She finds beauty in driving in L.A. traffic to deliver the frosted pink cheesecake cupcakes she makes for her online business, Cheesecake de Granger.
“Going to different areas that I’ve never been and stumbling upon a gem in the neighborhood gives me an opportunity to explore the area,” Granger said.
Granger established her online dessert business in 2012, choosing to forego a brick-and-mortar storefront to minimize overhead costs. She has since worked to gain a customer base and expand her business. Along with ordering online, customers can also go to Hot and Cool Cafe on Degnan Boulevard to try her cheesecake cupcakes. A recent partnership with Uber Eats and DoorDash will also make her products more easily accessible.
Granger decided to serve her cheesecakes in cupcake liners instead of by-the-slice due to the growing popularity of bite-sized desserts, which are more appealing in a health-conscious state like California, and easier to manage at large events, she explains.
But despite the desserts’ small size, they pack a full punch of flavor — the strawberry cheesecake cupcake carries the scent and taste of freshly picked strawberries, while the mango cheesecake cupcake has more subdued, tangy flavors.
The whipped cream that tops the cupcakes contains fresh bits of strawberry and adds to the texture of the cake, standing out from a classic frosting. The crust is crumbly and crisp, while the cheesecake itself is smooth, light and fluffy — easily dissolving against the roof of one’s mouth.
Granger’s signature light and airy touch is distinct from that of competitors.
Cheesecake de Granger customers also can select from more than 65 recipes online, all of which are freshly prepared and delivered to order without any frozen ingredients or preservatives. Granger’s creations come in whimsical flavors, from peanut butter and jelly to root beer float to sweet potato pie. She’s currently working on perfecting a Thai tea cheesecake, a flavor inspired by her love of the classic drink.
“Whatever hits me when I’m walking, or something that I eat or taste on a daily basis — that’s what I try to make a cheesecake out of,” Granger said.
Granger had no intention to start her own business. But after getting laid off from her job at a food testing lab, she realized she needed to rethink her source of income, and looked back at her family’s entrepreneurial history for motivation.
She describes her family as mostly self-employed; her grandmother owned a restaurant in Louisiana, while her father and grandfather both owned their own family carpentry business.
“I’m kind of the late one because they’ve been doing it since their teenage years,” Granger said. “But I knew eventually I would branch out on my own … I think this is what I was made to do.”
She attributes her love of baking to her grandparents, who taught her how to cook for “boucheries” in their home state of Louisiana — large neighborhood gatherings that centered around a butchered pig but also involved other side dishes, like hundreds of her grandmother’s sweet potato pies.
“Some of the things that my grandmother put in her sweet potato pie, I put in my cheesecake,” Granger said. “I take different components from what I’ve learned by watching and I add my own little twist to what I do.”
Granger tries to complement her business with community involvement. She’s currently working on a partnership to donate desserts to homeless people.
“Even though you’re online, you can meet people and branch out and do things to help the community,” Granger said. “We all have to help each other.”