After a whirlwind year, Pleesecakes not only has its first recipe book about to hit the shops, but several exciting plans underway. Ting Dalton meets founder Joe Moruzzi and finds out about his venture into the business world
When former painter and decorator Joe Moruzzi decided to start making cheesecakes for a living, little did he know how his life would change. After receiving a shoutout from fellow Epsomite Joe Wicks, The Body Coach’s endorsement meant Pleesecakes amassed a huge following on Instagram and a business was born.
“Last January is when it all started. I had absolutely no experience, and to be honest, I’m still winging it now!” laughs Joe. “But I’ve learned so much – the experience it’s generated, the people I’ve met, the places I’ve been. It’s opened so many doors for me.”
Joe’s delicious hand-crafted non-baked cheesecakes are adored by many including celebrity fans such as Holly Willoughby and Spencer Matthews, but even though business is booming, Joe still does pretty much everything by himself.
“I still do all the social media and manage the orders. Every aspect of the business is done in house,” he explains. “We have a very small team – my mum still does the deliveries, we have Sophie in the kitchen [who emailed Joe and told him to give her a job!], my girlfriend, family and friends. It’s just really tight nit and I want to keep that for this brand.”
Since T&L last spoke to Joe in May 2017, he’s not only had a Build Your Own Cheesecake stall in Selfridges, but created Pleesecake’s first-ever recipe book.
“I can’t believe I’ve written a book,” he smiles. “There are 60 recipes, which are broken down into various categories. So you’ve got your classics, we’ve got a vegan section, a savoury section, a boozy and milkshake section.”
When I mention that the recipes might be a bit too hard to do Joe is quick to reassure me. “Anyone can do them. If I can, then anyone can. I’ve tried to make it as accessible and useable as possible. I didn’t want to write a book that will just sit on someone’s shelf.”
After a campaign to secure much-needed investment was successful – and not from any Dragons after Joe’s recent appearance on BBC2’s Dragons’ Den – it now means Joe can finally realise his vision for a global empire – starting in Dubai, where Pleesecakes will soon be distributed across the Middle East. But this is just the beginning. Not only is Joe currently looking at retail spaces in central London to set up shop, but he’s also developing breakfast pots, Pleeseshakes and Freezecakes – biscuit based ice creams with various toppings. Meanwhile, you’ll soon be able to build you own cheesecakes at a new stand on the viewing platform in The Shard.
Joe admits to working all hours, and that he doesn’t even have time at the moment to really digest what has happened in the past 18 months. But he’s happy…
“I’ve made loads of mistakes, but that’s part of it. But I feel like we’re finally finding our feet. People do need to slow me down, though. I have so many ideas and I get over excited and want to do everything now! I have no patience!” Joe says. “I love what I do, I love creating and being in the kitchen. I’m doing something I’m passionate about and I think that’s what life is about, isn’t it?”
Pleesecake recipe book out 18 October www.pleesecakes.com