A Family Affair: New cheesecake-focused dessert biz in Chippewa Falls
Cheesecake is amazing, agreed? And who doesn’t like cupcakes? Imagine those two wonderful things entering your mouth as one amazing culinary creation. That’s right, cheesecake cupcakes.
Chippewa Falls has a new bakery downtown called Josef’s Confectionery, 29 W. Spring St. It just opened in December and already has a local following, selling out of cheesecakes regularly.
“Seeing customers happy, that’s what it’s all about. I just love seeing what they get. I wouldn’t want it any other way.” – Nicholas Wiener, Josef’s Confectionery
So what exactly is a cheesecake cupcake? According to Josef’s, it is a 10-ounce round baked cheesecake that is 4”x4”x4” and can easily be sold as a dessert for two. They have more than 100 flavors to choose from, and if that’s not enough for you, they will special create a flavor to meet your needs. Check out some of their quirky flavor names: Brandy Old Fashioned, Fruit Loop, Taco, Basil Lemongrass, Invisible Cheesecake, 24K Gold, and Rainbow Unicorn. They even have keto and gluten-free options. In addition to their cheesecake cupcakes, Josef’s also makes cakes, truffles, shakes, bread, pies, macaron cookies, and more. Josef’s also fills custom orders for weddings, parties, and other events.
Josef’s was started by Nicholas Wiener, a local chef with an impressive culinary background. (His favorite cheesecake flavor is Lemon Raspberry, if you’re wondering.) Wiener started working in the kitchen at his father’s restaurant at age 12, and he became his dad’s “executive chef” when he was 16. Following high school graduation, Wiener went to culinary school in New York. He then worked all over the country, as a resort chef, a personal chef for an undisclosed famous person, and a nutritionist and executive chef for GE Healthcare. Even with his amazing background, Wiener doesn’t like to toot his own horn very much.
“Most of the time I’m a pretty quiet guy,” he says. “I like to sit back and watch people eat and enjoy.”
Nicholas’ father, Joseph Wiener, passed away two years ago. When Nicholas was ready to open his cheesecake business, he decided to honor his late father by naming it after Joseph’s original restaurant, Josef’s, which was in operation in Angleton, Texas, in the 1970s. Joseph Wiener was a chef and restaurant owner in Texas, Chicago, and throughout Wisconsin. Nicholas used the same logo for Josef’s Confectionery as the one that graced his father’s restaurant.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Nicholas Wiener sure keeps himself busy. He is the executive chef at Connell’s Club 12. A typical day for Wiener includes working at Josef’s during the day, then going to Connell’s to cook, then making cheesecakes in the evenings, and in the morning he gets up early and decorates the cheesecakes from the night before to open up Josef’s at 10am.
“It can be stressful,” Wiener said. “You just have to have a good team and trust your team.” He is very dedicated, putting in 20-hour days regularly. Wiener also gets help from his brother, his wife, his kids, and his mom. Josef’s is definitely a family affair.
After 30 years in the culinary business, Wiener still downplays himself, joking that he doesn’t compare to Gordon Ramsay. But after tasting his cheesecake, I can tell you that this is no average cheesecake and no average chef. Nicholas Wiener has a creativity and flourish that take his cheesecakes to the next level. What makes him the most excited? “Seeing customers happy, that’s what it’s all about. I just love seeing what they get,” Wiener says. “I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Josef’s Confectionery (29 W. Spring St., Chippewa Falls), is open Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm. For more information, visit josefsweets.com or give them a call at (715)861-3129.