90-year-old owner of legendary SF cheesecake bakery is retiring

After over four decades of supplying San Francisco with fluffy cheesecakes, the 90-year-old owner of Zanze’s Cheesecake is finally retiring. Sam Zanze is selling his business to the family behind another long-running San Francisco institution, Original Joe’s, as first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle. (The Chronicle and SFGATE are both owned by Hearst but have separate newsrooms).

Zanze first opened his bakery on Ocean Avenue in 1979, selling only simple, soufflé-like cheesecakes. He learned to make cheesecake from his Croatian father, who was trained by German pastry chefs. 

“All you need is one good item and it can work, as long as it is very good,” Zanze told Food and Wine in 2019 when Zanze’s Cheesecake was included in its “Best Cheesecakes in America” list.

Zanze’s Cheesecake temporarily closed during the pandemic but returned as a wholesale business in 2021, according to the Chronicle. It closed again a year ago, but now the sale to Original Joe’s will allow the cheesecakes to live on.

(Left to right) John Duggan, Joyce Zanze, Sam Zanze and Elena Duggan. Sam Zanze has sold his cheesecake business to Original Joe’s owners John and Elena Duggan.

Courtesy of Original Joe’s

Original Joe’s owners John and Elena Duggan have a long-running family connection to Zanze. The Duggans’ grandfather, Tony Rodin, grew up with Zanze’s father in Croatia. Rodin, who was also the founder of Original Joe’s, even used to babysit Zanze when he was young. 

“Zanze’s Cheesecake is a product of my life’s work, and it has been a true blessing being embraced by San Francisco for the past 42 years,” Zanze said in a press release. “If anyone understands the importance and responsibility of honoring roots and history, it is the Duggan family. I am overwhelmed with joy to pass the torch to them and watch as they carry on the Zanze’s legacy for decades to come.” 

The team at Original Joe’s will learn to master Zanze’s cheesecake recipe from the man himself. Starting this spring, the cheesecakes will be sold in the frozen section at Little Original Joe’s, the brand’s West Portal to-go restaurant and Italian market.

Source link

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply