Cheesecake owner Shawn Brown is the victim of a horrific drunk driving accident that left him with serious head and body injuries and killed his ten-week-old son, Jakori. Brown, also a breast cancer survivor, has had her culinary talent showcased on “Good Morning America” and the Food Network.
Recently, Brown spoke with deployment of her career and what she learned in life.
At what point in your culinary journey did you realize that cheesecake was your specialty?
Cheesecake has always been my favorite dessert. It comes in so many different flavors and sets. It really allows you to be your creative best.
How did you reverse your tragedy of being the victim of a drunk driving incident in your business?
Throughout my recovery, I found myself cooking. It allowed me to enter a zone where I didn’t have to think about my current situation and the loss of my son. It has brought me so much joy to bring joy to others.
When did you reopen and how did you feel on that first day back?
We officially reopened on November 13 and I was thrilled. I just keep thanking God [because] He saved me and blessed me to be able to reopen. Also, having the support of the community was the best feeling. Having the community cheering me on was the boost I needed.
What drives you forward?
I have the best job in the world. My job is to bring joy to people, if only for a few minutes, allowing them to close their eyes and experience the moment of greatest bliss. Who wouldn’t want to do this every day? When I see people’s faces light up with excitement when their treat is brought to them, it warms my soul.
To anyone reading this who is about to give up, what would your message be to them?
Here’s the thing – life is tough. There’s no getting around it, but the point is, it’s a journey. There are ups and downs and it is in those times that there is a lesson that God is trying to teach you. During tough times, pray that God will show you the lesson so you can learn from it and share with someone how you coped. Believe me, they are watching.
Going through cancer was hard and most of the time I was alone due to COVID – but it was during this time when I was bald that I lost both of my breasts and had to shut down my business, that I knew I was going to make it. I knew God was going to use me in some way, whether it was to raise awareness about this deadly disease or just to encourage people to get genetically tested to see if they carried a gene which could bring them closer to a disease they do not know.
I believe that if we try to learn through the storm and imagine ourselves on the other side, it can help us get through it with fewer bruises.