Ellsworth Woman Sells Cheesecakes with Honor System

ELLSWORTH, MAINE (WABI) People come from near and far to buy a slice of Momo's cheesecake in Ellsworth.

There are no store hours...because there's no store.

Joy Hollowell tells us about the garage sale style bakery.

"I started at China Hill 19 years ago. The boss named me Momo, for motor mouth. And then I started making desserts there and everybody was like- Momo's desserts."

Brenda Ledezma started selling her cheesecakes and other desserts at the restaurant.

"the only thing that sold were the cheesecakes," she says. "everybody wanted cheesecakes."

They became so popular, she was having a hard time keeping up with the demand.

"My husband's like- well how are you going to sell them? I'm like- we'll just stick them in the garage and put a name on them, put a box next to it to leave their money and grab their stuff."

Both Brenda and her husband work full-time, "so it had to be the honor system," she says.

The idea worked. Now, close to a year later, Momo's Cheesecakes are a mouth-watering commodity.

"Some days, (we go through) 60 to 80 slices," says Ledezma. "I didn't realize how many people eat cheesecake."

Their visitor's log backs that up.

"They're from all over the world - Russia, Ireland, Florida," says Ledezma. "Mostly Maine."

Ledezma bakes her decadent desserts in a licensed commercial kitchen attached to their home.

"One night we came home and we found a stove outside of the house," says Jose Rodriguez, Brenda's husband. "Because we had just commented to somebody that we were looking for a stove. And we were looking for a double sink and somebody donated it to us."

It all makes sense when you hear about Ledezma's generosity. She donates 10% of proceeds to a local church youth group.

"I get up at 5 in the morning. I make like 8 before I go to work at 10:30. And on my days off, I make between 18 and 20."

Long days of labor, but full of love.

"I could do it full-time, yes," says Ledezma. "But I don't want to. I like my job where I am. I want my cake and eat it too," she adds laughing.
Momo's Cheesecakes is located on Main Street in Ellsworth.

They offer up to 30 different flavors.

You can check out their Facebook page for more information.