David Overton

Founder of The Cheesecake Factory

Early Life

David Overton was born April 13, 1946 in Detroit. After college, he moved to San Francisco. Shortly after, though, he moved to Los Angeles to help his parents with their cheesecake business. He still lives there.

Starting the Business

When he was young, his mother sold and delivered cheesecakes across town. She kept this job as he grew up and he was always convinced it could be more, so he encouraged her to start a franchise. This franchise was The Cheesecake Factory. He earned Bachelor's degrees in both History and Economics from Wayne State University and then later went to Hastings College of Law, but he dropped out. He had a job as a child folding boxes for his mother's cheesecake and then later he played drums in a band.

Interesting Facts

  • The original cheesecake recipe was taken from a newspaper clipping.
  • At his suggestion, the first store's menu revolved around the cakes, with the actual meal being only foods he could cook himself. He worried a chef would walk out on him, so this was his backup.
  • He has three sons and none of them are willing to take over the business.
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