We had the good fortune of connecting with Q. Doyle and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Q., how did you come up with the idea for your business?
I came up with the idea of The Tipsy Cheesecake by combining 2 of my favorite things. I used to bartend, and I love to bake. One of my favorite desserts to eat is cheesecake. It started out as an idea in 2016 and grew from there. I was going through some hard times in life and baking is what kept me going. I spent several hours researching recipes and watching videos. I focused on the things that I liked and came up with my own version, and I have been making it ever since.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The Tipsy Cheesecake is something that I have been sitting on since 2012. I tried to launch it in 2013 but I wasn’t ready mentally for what it took to make it work. In 2016 I went back to that idea and was emotionally and mentally invested in it. When I finally found what worked for me taste and texture wise, I knew I had something. I love cheesecake and would always order some whenever I got the chance. One day I noticed that a lot of them are heavy and extremely sweet. I was young and just eating whatever and whenever not really analyzing what I was putting my body. I saw how many calories was in one of my favorite cheesecakes and it was mind blowing. It hit me as to why I was always so sleepy after trying to eat a slice of Cheesecake. That’s when I really took on the mission of creating something that was light, not too sweet, and still satisfying without being so heavy on the stomach. That is one of my favorite compliments from customers. They enjoy that it is light and creamy and doesn’t feel like they can’t function after eating it. My goal is to make something that you can enjoy without feeling guilty about it.
I would say my proudest moment was getting the process started of becoming official, following through with everything, and surviving my first holiday. I do everything myself so at times it can become exhausting and frustrating and it makes you want to quit. Its easy to get inside of your own head and project negative thoughts when things aren’t flowing easily. For Thanksgiving, I was up for 3 days straight baking and was mentally and physically exhausted. I took a break from it for a few days to mentally recharge and remind myself why I started. It helped to go back and read people’s messages about how much they enjoyed my passion and that was all I needed to get back to it. Working for yourself and working for someone else definitely has its pros and cons, and you have to figure out which one are you more willing to withstand.
I am still new and learning and growing. I am constantly looking for ways to improve and finding what works best for me. When people enjoy what I make, and I have a lot of compliments about the same thing from different people, it lets me know that I must be doing something right. My biggest challenge baking for my first holiday was making sure I had enough time to complete everyone’s order. Cheesecakes aren’t something that you can finish in a day. I had to plan efficiently and effectively to make sure they were ready when people wanted them, especially since I had to deliver them as well. I made it through by writing everything down and making a plan of what needed to be done by what day and time to balance with me having to deliver. I had a few last minute orders that came in so that created a challenge of squeezing it into my schedule. Everything seemed to work out for me, and I made it to my last order. For some reason the last one decided that it did not want to bake correctly and ended up exploding. I was almost at my breaking point because in my head I knew it was my last one which meant that I could finally go to sleep. I had to start all the way over and call and explain to the person what happened. They were understanding, and I was able to get it to them later on the next day. In that moment it stressed me out, and I started overthinking how could I possibly survive Christmas orders. I had to step back and realize that I accomplished something amazing by myself. It’s easy to focus on the negative emotions in the moment but you have to step back and celebrate all of the small wins in the moment as well.
I definitely learned a lot of lessons. I have a habit of trying to remember everything and not writing things down. It has usually worked for me, but it can be something very minor that I needed to remember to do and then it pops up in my head at the last minute. Now I am rushing to do it. Getting into the habit of writing things down is definitely a big lesson for me. It clears my head of having so much to remember and simplifies it to me only having to remember to check my calendar.
The Tipsy Cheesecake is something that I have been sitting on for a long time. It’s something that I enjoy doing and I’m passionate about it. When I reflect on everything that I had to overcome to get to this point, I’m extremely grateful. My brand is something that really flourished for me when I was in a dark space and time in my life. In the moments when I’m stressed out, the first thing that I want to do to relieve stress is to bake. That reminds me why I started in the first place. Baking is my happy space and it is something that I am happy to do at anytime. I have a full-time job, I work part-time, I run a business, and I’m in school full-time. If it is something that you really want to do, you are more than capable of making it happen. I know that this is something that I want to devote my time and energy into so I’m doing what it takes to make that happen. The more happy customers that I receive, the more I know that I’m taking the right steps to getting closer to making my dream a reality.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I had to make an itinerary of things to do in Houston for a week–
Sunday- Trez Art & Wine Bar for brunch (the vibe is amazing and they have great drinks)
Chapman and Kirby (for the nightlife adventure and great vibes and drinks)
The Breakfast Klub (city staple. The wings and waffles or katfish and grits are a must try..plus you never know what celebrity might show up. The line is long but moves quickly, so I would wear comfortable shoes. Ms. Mary monitors the line and she is a total sweetheart that you have to meet)
The Bar (there is always a live band)
O2 ( a great place to watch professionals roller skate)
Bissou (they have a great happy hour and the area is nice and has shops that you can walk around and see)
5015 ( great steak night)
Posthtx (a cool place to people watch, relax and enjoy food or coffee and a nice scenic view)
Prey (reservations needed, great atmosphere and the food and drinks are amazing)
Houston Grub Park (one stop shop for trying local black owned food businesses, The dessert from The Peach Cobbler Lady is amazing and she runs out daily)
Museum of Fine Arts (free on Thursdays…peaceful place to enjoy a variety of art)
Prospect Park (great drinks, music, and fun atmosphere)
Bohme (happy hour)
Simone on Sunset (hidden gem in Rice Village with a relaxed upscale vibe)
Toulouse (reservations needed. Always sit on the patio,,,upscale getaway that has great live music, food, and drinks)
Taste Bar and Kitchen (reservations needed….great variety of food and drinks, you will never be disappointed here)
Foundation Room (they have the best live music and bands that come out. great vibes and atmosphere)
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
During one of the craziest times in my life, I had to start over with everything, which included me finding a new job. I was hired by my former boss, Rob. I was quiet and shy when I first started. We would talk and have deep meaningful conversations about life, and he would also give me advice on how to go about things and handle situations. I was always baking to relieve stress so I started bringing them to work to have my coworkers try it out and give me feedback. I had finally gotten it right and expressed wanting that to be something to sell and have people try. He encouraged me to do it and gave me the opportunity to have customers try it at the restaurant. Ever since that day, he has continuously supported and encouraged me to go after my dream of baking. He still gives me advice on life and what to expect from owning a business. I will forever be grateful for the opportunities that he has provided so that I can be where I am today.
One of my more recent supportive people that I met is a lady named Tajana. She is such a joy and a wonderful person to be around. I was invited to an investor event by my friend Nakia, who is also very supportive of me and introduces me to new people for exposure, and Tajana walks up to me and asks what is it that I do. I told her that I bake alcohol infused cheesecakes and the conversation sparked from there. We exchanged information and it has been amazing interaction ever since. She invited me to a company event and asked me to make cheesecakes for them. She gave me a lot of advice on what to do and how to set up to be successful. She required a lot from me in a positive way and that motivated me to get my life together asap. I have received more orders and support from her offering me a chance to do my first event. I recently did something for the company again with one of her partners. The biggest thing that stood out to me is when she came over to me, said some words of encouragement to me like she always does, and told me she wanted to pray with me in the middle of the event. That touched me because you do not find a lot of genuine people that wish you success and actually want to see you succeed in life without something being in it for them.
I also have my friends and family that are always supportive and encouraging me to do great as well.
Facebook: The Tipsy Cheesecake
Anna Gutierrez (white dress) Gustavo Bernal (gray shirt behind tables)