Entrepreneur Gregory Williams inspires young people with an underground bakery

OAKLAND, Calif. — From milkshake-inspired cheesecake to butterfinger cookies, dessert wizard and business owner Gregory Williams is constantly innovating at his underground bakery.

“I knew I was going to be an entrepreneur…I didn’t know it would be in baking,” Gregory said. “That’s how I grew up, mixing certain things together. Now that’s what I do. I can play in my big kitchen.”

Gregory’s Gourmet Desserts has been Oakland’s best kept secret for over 22 years. The hidden spot is filled with everything from decadent cookies to specialty pies, as well as countless customers ready to sample Gregory’s latest creations.

It all started when a local bakery stopped selling Gregory’s favorite apple streusel cheesecake.

“A really good friend of mine said, ‘Why don’t you do it yourself,'” he said. “And she ended up buying me a cookbook and a springform pan, and I taught myself how to make this apple streusel cheesecake. And that’s how I started. “

Along with developing unique treats, Gregory cooks to inspire the next generation and honor his family along the way.

“By leaving some history for my grandchildren, I wanted to leave something for them,” he said. “They can say, ‘Grandpa did this, we can do that.'”

Gregory’s grandmother, mother and uncle are painted on the bakery building as a tribute.

“Be the first to start a business, be the first to get started,” Gregory said. “I’m happy to be a positive role model for young kids who want to do that.”

To order and learn more, visit here and follow @gregorysgourmetdesserts on Instagram.

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