An Interview with Sheryl Meddin: My Mother, Original Co-Founder of The Dessert Place, Consultant and Assistant Baker

Hi everyone - Marisa here. Welcome to The Dessert Place blog - your source for ongoing behind the scenes info, and a window into my life and the company that I'm re-starting. 

To kick things off, I hope you enjoy a little Q&A session with my mom, Sheryl, who has been a role model throughout my life. As one of the founders of the original Dessert Place, she gave me the courage and inspiration to start a business myself (anything she can do, I can do too!). These days, she's also been an amazing consultant and co-baker (thanks, mom!!).

Without further ado, I hope that you enjoy a view of The Dessert Place from Sheryl herself. 

Q: How old were you when you and Bennett originally founded The Dessert Place?

A: 25!

Q: What prompted you and Bennett to open The Dessert Place back in 1979?

A: One spring night in 1978, Bennett (AKA Ann at the time), Bill, Stuart and I went out in search of dessert only to be scrutinized at the door for wanting to take up a table for just dessert and coffee. It was 10:00 and the restaurant was not full at the time. We just looked at each other and said "this town needs a dessert place!"

Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced when you first opened the bakery? 

A: Figuring out how many of each cake/pie/cookie/brownies were needed each day. We didn't want to run out but we didn't want to throw away product every day. We ended up taking a lot of extra cakes etc to shelters at the end of many evenings.

Q: Do you remember your very first sale?

A: I will never forget it. It was none other than the Cream Cheese Brownie!

Q: What was the most popular item on the menu?

From the day we opened our doors, it was always the Cream Cheese Brownies.

Q: What are one or two of your favorite memories from the original days of The Dessert Place?

A: The first night in business, we were exhausted at the end of the evening. I looked at Bennett and said, "I am SO tired - do we have to do this again tomorrow?" Bennett looked at me and quickly replied: "Yes we do, and the next night and the next night and the next night - if we are lucky!"  I will never forget her response.
The line out the door on our first Saturday night in business was one of the most exciting times there that I can remember. It was such a validation that we'd come up with a great idea.

Q: The Dessert Place has been closed for almost than twenty years. Do people still ask you about it?

A: People ask me about it all the time. The question they now ask is why we don't open it again. They still want CCBs, chocolate cake, carrot cake, cinnamon stickies and apple pie!

Q: Did you ever think your old business would come back to life again? 

A: I really thought the DP was over and done with, sort of a been there, done that type of thing. I knew I would never reopen it - way too much work for a 60 something! My first thought was that you were crazy to want to do this - that it's so much work, why would anyone want to do it? But then I remembered when I was in my 20s, I could do super human things and never get tired. So why not? Like mother, like daughter???


Q: Lastly, what's your favorite way to eat a Cream Cheese Brownie?

A: I like to cut the corner pieces from the tray and eat them right out of the oven! (I've never admitted that before!) 


Sheryl & Marisa together on vacation


Comment on this post (10 comments)

  • Elizabeth McDonald says...

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this!! So excited for the availability of CCB’s – now, if you’d make Blonde Brownies available too, I’d be over the moon!! Congratulations and look forward to following your 2016 (and beyond)

    September 14, 2016

  • Martha Eskew says...

    I have missed The Dessert Place ever since it closed, so happy you are reinventing and updating it so we can all enjoy the sweets. I am sure it will be bigger and better than ever especially with your guiding spirit, Sheryl / Mom. Loved the interview. You go girl.

    September 04, 2016

  • Mac and I always ended evenings after dinner in Va. Highlands at the Dessert Place. So happy you are following in your Mom and Bennett's footsteps...Lynn Young says...


    August 27, 2016

  • Holli says...

    My family loved the Dessert Place. We still talk about it all the time. We loved the CCB but all so the thumb print cookie. Good luck.

    August 27, 2016

  • Megan Houman says...

    So proud of you!! This is amazing!!

    August 23, 2016

  • Trish says...

    Good Luck, Riss. You got all the best from both mom and dad. So the new DP is going to be better than ever!! Can’t wait to eat my first cream cheese brownie. Maybe I’ll treat myself after my crazy 630 mile charity ride in October.

    PS – you know people are going to ask you to make all the yummy goodies that DP#1 originally offered. The Mexican Wedding cake and puffins were my fav!!

    August 23, 2016

  • Teresa Hargrave says...

    As one of the Dessert Place loyal customers from many many years ago, I am thrilled for your new venture!!! Thank goodness I have been one of your “testers” and I cannot wait to order my favorites – your gluten free Cream Cheese Brownies!!! OMG…these are OUTRAGEOUS!!! I LOVE this blog and your interview with your Mom! I look forward to reading more!! Onward and upward!!!

    August 23, 2016

  • Robin says...

    Loved reading this! Very cute. I’ll order my first batch soon—can’t wait.

    August 22, 2016

  • marlene addlestone says...

    How about the Mexican wedding cake??? Good luck. Loved reading about Marisa’s enterprise. I will definitely order the CCB soon. Marlene Addlestone

    August 22, 2016

  • Audrey Jernigan says...

    So fun to learn the history behind the Dessert Place! What a cute interview!

    August 22, 2016

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