Tami Cabrera of St. Louis Park-based Muddy Paws Cheesecake serves some of her desserts in this undated photo from the mid-2010s. (Muddy Paws Cheesecake)
Muddy Paws Cheesecake, a St. Louis Park staple for the past 30 years, recently issued a plea for help, announcing it would close permanently without nearly $250,000 in donations.
Television personality and philanthropist Marcus Lemonis came forward this weekend, offering to buy $40,000 worth of pies if the bakery agreed to give them away on Instagram.
Lemonis, known for highlighting struggling small businesses on CNBC’s “The Profit,” draws attention to the improvements needed to bakeries’ business practices while also helping them stay afloat. He clarified on Instagram that it was his help.
“The purpose of this process is to keep the business afloat,” he commented on the bakery’s announcement about the giveaway on Instagram. “This is more than a holiday perk as we put in place better practices, financial discipline, improved processes, etc.!!!” This is a response to a request for help to save this business. It’s also important to understand how we got here economically. ”
The bakery announced last week that it was closing its doors, saying it would have to close permanently if it could not repay its significant debt in the coming weeks.
Once Muddy Paws is able to reopen, owner Tami Cabrera said in a statement that she plans to overhaul key parts of the bakery’s operations.
Founded by Cabrera in the early 1990s, the cheesecake bakery previously had locations on Snelling Avenue in St. Paul, Maple Grove, and Uptown Minneapolis before moving to its main location in St. Louis Park in the mid-2000s. Ta.
According to the company’s website, Muddy Paws has made more than 480,000 cheesecakes over the past 30 years, including for the Food Network, the White House and TV host Al Roker. The company also donated cheesecake, money, and volunteer time to a variety of local nonprofits, theater organizations, and community support networks. Cabrera does not receive a salary from management and sometimes has to work other jobs to support her family, she said on her website.
In an extensive post on the bakery’s website, Cabrera outlined how the bakery “snowballed” into nearly $500,000 in debt. After a devastating robbery in 2018, he was forced to move into a more expensive-than-expected venture. A car crashed into another nearby building a year later. Then the pandemic started. Muddy Paws also spent a considerable amount of money to open an artisan market in the West End neighborhood of St. Louis Park. Ms. Cabrera is facing significant difficulties in her personal life, she said, and the cost of food has skyrocketed.
All told, the company needs to raise $240,000 by Jan. 19, 2024, enough to cover about half of its total debt, Cabrera wrote.
“Muddy Paws Cheesecake has been donating to local charities (hundreds of them) for 30 years, and now is the time to help,” Cabrera said in a video posted on his website. said. “We are in too much debt to continue like this and we need your help.”
Mr. Cabrera could not be reached for comment Sunday.
Donation information can be found at muddypawscheesecake.com/save-muddy-paws.
Pioneer Press writer Jared Kaufman contributed to this report.