Tadworth Dragon’s Den star launches world’s first frozen cheesecake in a tub
PUBLISHED: 14:12 27 August 2020 | UPDATED: 15:00 27 August 2020
Joe Moruzzi, famed for his Instagram-worthy no-bake ‘Pleesecakes’ has launched three flavours of ‘Freezecakes’
With a celebrity following including Peter Andre, Joe Wicks and even the Queen, Joe Moruzzi’s customised cake creations are at the top of the wish list for anyone looking for an instagram-worthy centrepiece for a celebration.
If you haven’t already seen his whacky creations on social media, then you may well remember them from series 16 of BBC Two’s Dragon’s Den, when Tadworth-based Joe pitched for a £50,000 investment in return for a five per cent stake in his business - Pleesecakes.
The dragons loved the idea - particularly Peter Jones - but Joe walked away empty handed after refusing to meet the dragon’s demand for 35 per cent of the business.
“The experience is super scary. You’re in there for two hours but it flies by because they really grill you,” he says. “It’s good exposure though and I did end up getting investment off the back of it.”
The Pleesecakes journey began back in 2017 when Joe, who at the time was running his own painting and decorating business, started playing around with the traditional idea of a cheesecake.
“I’ve always been passionate about food and my favourite dessert is cheesake but in restuarants I always found them boring and generic so I thought I’d try and spice them up a bit,” he says. “My attempts weren’t great to start off with but over a period of about two years they got better and I started making them for friends and a buzz started.”
One such friend was fellow Surrey resident, The Body Coach Joe Wicks, who posted one of the cakes to his Instagram account - “I didn’t ask him to,” Joe says. “he just did it!” - and the business literally exploded overnight.
“We [Joe and business partner Brendon Parry] were really chucked in at the deep end - we were completely winging it to start off with, rushing around making deliveries in our painting van. We had to learn very quickly,” Joe admits.
Since then Joe has created a Pleesecake for the Queen with McVitie’s, been on This Morning showing off his wizadry creations, released a recipe book and now he has a team of 14 working for him at the Pleesecakes headquarters in Redhill, where he also hosts cheescake workshops.
Of course the journey hasn’t been without its difficulties and Joe admits when lockdown hit, he thought he might have to close the business down. But instead, Joe revisited some ideas he’d had at the start of his business for a ‘make your own Pleesecake’ and a frozen dessert that could be sold in shops.
“Back in 2017 I’d played around with freezing the cheesecakes to try and develop a cheesecake lollie but shelved it when things with the business blew up,” he says. “The pandemic forced us to slow down and gave us time to develop this idea, which translated into our Freezecakes tubs.”
The tubs of frozen cheesecake come in three flavours: Bonnie & Clyde (Butterscotch and Caramel), Charlie (Chocolate) and Lily-Rose (Lemon and Raspberry) and, depending on which you choose, feature biscuit crumbs, pockets of soft ganache, oozing caramel, chocolate shards, popcorn and fruit swirls.
“The names link to the different flavours of the product - I want to give them personality,” Joe says.
The company also launched a Build Your Own At Home (BYOAH) Pleesecakes DIY kit, which proved particularly popular during quarantine - “it was the perfect time for it,” Joe adds.
Now things are gradually getting back to normal what’s next for Joe and his team?
“It’s my absolute dream to open a Pleesecakes build your own bar,” he says. “For us it’s always been about creating an experience for our customers. It would be great to do something that draws people back to the High Street, particularly in these current times.”
Freezecakes are available for nationwide delivery priced at £6.50 per tub. BYOAH DIY Kits come in two flavours and cost from £30. For more information visit Web: freezecake.com. You can follow Joe on Instagram @pleesecakes.