Chico, California’s Joker’s Bakery is highly influenced by chicanery, but the bakery’s cheesecakes are no joke.
Owners Ryan Poirier and John Ralston opened their new business last year and have been selling cheesecakes at farmers’ markets throughout the area. Now, they are planning to open a brick-and-mortar location that will eventually house their nearly two dozen different cheese cakes offerings.
These flavors range from the simple (Classic, Pumpkin, Cherry) to the more complex (Chunky Monkey, Peanut Butter and Jelly, White Chocolate and Lavender). Right now, the bakery offers 22 of them. The 22nd flavor is a true wild card: Customers can challenge the Big Joker to make custom cheesecakes using their imaginations.
Ralston was inspired to name the bakery Joker’s because of his fascination with playing cards, which he learned from his mother. The name also fits his personality, as he likes to play jokes on other people, especially Poirier.
Joker’s Bakery’s cheesecakes differ from other cheesecakes, Ralson says, because they are lighter, fluffier, and creamier than most cheesecakes, which tend to be more dense and heavy.