Truth, Justice and the Ultimate Cheesecake

Normally, when I write about a restaurant or a bakery, I want to write all about the food and the environment, but Everything Cheesecake is so much more than their food. Owner’s Teresa and Erin Gibbons have taken a passion and turned it into a Berkeley County institution. The story behind their business is as amazing as their cheesecake.
One thing I can tell you is if you love cheesecake and you haven’t been to Everything Cheesecake in Martinsburg, West Virginia, you should plan to stop by.

Just make sure to check out their Facebook page first.

This is because, in addition to their standard New York Style Cheesecake and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, they feature two to four of their more than sixty specialty flavors, so the selection never gets old.

Their specialty flavors include:

  • Blueberry Streusel
  • Samoa
  • Banana Cream • Sugar Cookie
  • Salted Caramel
  • Cinnamon Toast Crunch
  • Lemon Drop Cookie
  • Butterscotch
  • Birthday Cake
  • Brownie Batter
  • Key Lime
  • Pecan Pie
  • White chocolate
  • and many others

As of this article, I’ve gotten to try their New York Style, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Salted Carmel cheesecakes and am working my way through the list. All I can say is their cheesecake has become the gold standard by which I judge all other cheesecakes.

And their pepperoni rolls are the best I have ever tasted.

Everything Cheesecake is open Tuesday through Saturday, and their cheesecakes are baked fresh each day. They use only fresh ingredients, and the cheesecakes are never frozen.

You do have the option of getting a full cheesecake by ordering three days in advance or by creating a whole cake from their selection of flavors, served by the slice.

It is rich and creamy without being too heavy or dense and is the perfect balance of flavor and texture that has made it my go-to cheesecake.

As of September, they have been open for four years and have reached the point where they’re looking into adding a kitchen location dedicated to baking cheesecakes.

Currently, they have four ovens running continuously to make their cheesecakes, pastries, and Pepperoni Rolls.

When I entered the shop, Erin Gibbons, one of the owners of Everything Cheesecake, was there to greet me. I have since learned, that if the person behind the counter doesn’t recognize you, they will ask if you’ve ever been there before. If you haven’t, they will take the time to explain your choices and help you find the cheesecake that suits you.

They have a lot of repeat customers, and they know a lot of people in the area because owners Teresa and Erin Gibbons are both Martinsburg City Police officers.

Teresa has since retired to focus on the business, but she is still active in the community.

Since changing their summer hours to open at 11:00, they have found there is a line around the corner of people waiting to pick up their morning cheesecake.

Many of the customers they know from work (fellow officers, clerks). All have found their cheesecake and baked goods worth coming back for more.

“We have guys I’ve arrested coming in as regulars.” It’s that good.

For how amazing their cheesecake is, it’s the story behind the cheesecake that makes it mean so much more.

It started when Teresa wanted to make a cheesecake for a family gathering.”I have a big family,” Erin explained. “I think it was Thanksgiving and she fooled around with recipes until it came out the way she wanted.

“They knew they had a hit when they were asked to bring cheesecake for Christmas Dinner.

Soon they were bringing cheesecakes to family events and social gatherings. When people started asking them to bring cheesecake, they knew they were onto something.

“We hadn’t quite gotten the knack down. You know we’d take it out of the oven and there’d be a big split in the middle, and we’d work out how to fix that.”

“When we first started, I think about how many cheesecakes we ruined,” Erin added recounting the story.

They wanted a cheesecake that wasn’t too dense and as they perfected their recipe, they began experimenting with different flavors.

“We’d have four different flavors in the fridge with spoons sticking out of them,” he added with a laugh. “We experimented with different crusts and would go back and forth asking ‘what if we did this…'”

This process continued until they found the perfect combination.

Soon they were bringing cheesecake to birthdays and social functions and people who weren’t even in their family were asking them for cheesecake.

“We had a couple of restaurants that wanted to carry our cheesecakes and we realized we couldn’t do this out of our kitchen,” Erin explains.

They began thinking about options and decided to look into opening a shop in Martinsburg, the community they served and loved.

Theresa and Erin knew if they wanted the business to work, they would need to find not only the right location; they would also need to find the right people to hire for the bakery.

When they found the shop on Stephen Street, it had been sitting empty for seven years.

The place needed work. Over the next five months or so, they worked on cleaning up the shop and finally opened in September 2014.

It was about five months after they first opened that fire almost ended their business before it had the chance to begin. One of the apartments above the shop caught on fire, and Erin got a call from a friend of his saying “We need you to let us into the building…”

While the local firehouse dealt with the fire, friends from the force and volunteers from other firehouses and the community came and helped them move their equipment to safety.

“When something like that happens, you have to think, ‘Is this a sign?'” Erin stated, obviously glad they’d decided to reopen.

Four or five months later, they were back in business. Teresa retired from the police department, choosing to focus on the bakery. When asking about the future, Erin told me that “no matter what we do, no matter how much we grow, Berkeley County will always be home.”

Be sure and check out their daily specials on Facebook.

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