24th CC Opens
A family cheesecake business at Briarwood.
From the June, 2019 issue
The newest addition to Briarwood's growing north-wing food court is 24th CC, a modern "cheesecake-by-the-slice" operation run by three generations of bakers. Thirty-year-old Sean Brezzell; his mother, Vicki Brezzell; and his grandmother, Barb Wilson, opened their new venture in May after years of running a catering company.
In fast-casual style, customers walk up and mark their cheesecake and topping choices on a piece of paper then hand it to an employee (initially all family members) to assemble. Cheesecake flavors include strawberry and macchiato, and toppings range from raspberry sauce to Reese's. Whipped cream on top is optional--"I thought everyone liked whipped cream until once a guy got really upset that I put whipped cream on his cheesecake," says Sean. "Now I ask everyone!"
Wilson started making and selling cakes--not just the cheese kind--in the early 1980s. At the time, Vicki was living in Japan, where her husband was stationed at Yokota Air Base in Tokyo, and Wilson wanted to make some extra money to go visit her. When Vicki returned, "I just jumped on board!" she says.
Sean and his three siblings grew up in the Colonial Square Cooperative off Platt Rd. as his mother and grandmother grew their business. Now the partners live in Ypsilanti, Whittaker, and Canton respectively.
Their first big break came when a kitchen manager at the Ypsilanti Marriott asked if he could put their cheesecakes on the hotel restaurant menu. "He called it 'Sean's cheesecake'!" says Sean. They also sell their cakes by the slice at Argus Farm Stop and Constellation Collective in Nickels Arcade.
"When it comes down to the cheesecakes, we all agree," says Sean. Some might expect family members to say this through gritted teeth, but Sean, Vicki, and Barb all seem genuinely pleased to work together every day. The "24" in the shop's name comes from a familial kismet: all three have birthdays on the twenty-fourth day of different months. The CC stands for "cheesecakerie," Sean explains, but "we don't
want to just be known as a cheesecakerie." Signs for their catering service are posted around the shop, and the family has hopes of eventually franchising.
The space, most recently a Which Wich sandwich shop, has a couple tables and a large counter backed by a bright yellow tiled wall. The family brings in the cheesecakes from their Ypsilanti kitchen, and Vicki says they don't mind the smaller work area. "We've always been on top of each other in the kitchen," she says. "We're used to cramped spots."
24th CC, Briarwood Mall. (734) 865-0256. Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
[Originally published in June, 2019.]
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