The St. Jarre sisters, owners of The Perfect Circle Cheesecakery, love everything about cheesecake.
From baking it to eating it, the sisters’ passion for cheesecake led them to create a product that has been selling “like hot cakes” throughout the state from a home base in Whitefield.
“We’re a big French family. We were taught to express our love for each other through food,” said Julie St. Jarre, one of the three sisters.
Julie, Emily, and Sarah St. Jarre grew up in Gardiner, with their brother and parents.
“My mom’s famous New York-style cheesecake was the family dessert growing up,” Julie said. “That’s really what inspired us to start The Perfect Circle.”
In November 2016, the sisters got busy baking cheesecakes out of Julie’s apartment in Gardiner, or sometimes in their parents’ kitchen in Randolph.
“Back then, we weren’t a licensed business; we were just a family baking cheesecakes out of a kitchen,” Julie said.
Initially, the sisters sold whole cheesecakes under the name Saints and Sinners.
They delivered to friends and family living in Aroostook County, where their family is originally from.
“We picked weekends and took turns driving three hours up north to deliver our cakes,” Julie said.
As more people caught on to their product, mainly through word-of-mouth, the sisters decided they needed to expand beyond Julie’s apartment, change the name of their business, and add new flavors and sizes.
Their brother suggested the name, The Perfect Circle Cheesecakery.
“To us, the name represents wholeness and completion,” Julie said. “We’re a family who feels complete with each other, and we’ll continue to share our love through cheesecake.”
The sisters discovered the Food Forge in Whitefield, a licensed commercial kitchen and food-production facility that businesses can rent by the hour or day.
“It’s an extremely generous kitchen for small businesses, like us, to start out with,” Julie said.
In 2018, after renting out the Food Forge kitchen by the hour, the sisters got licensed and started renting out the kitchen for larger chunks of time.
That’s when the sisters got creative with the sizes and flavors of their product.
“We grew up thinking of cheesecake as the classic New York style that our mom always made and that everyone is familiar with,” Julie said.
Now, the sisters offer over 40 different miniature cheesecakes in flavors like peanut butter cup, lemon blueberry, mint fudge cookie, pistachio, coconut key lime, and, of course, the classics with berry toppings.
“Our brother loved Fruity Pebbles cereal growing up, so we created a Fruity Pebbles-flavored cheesecake,” Julie said. “It’s become one of our most popular flavors and I haven’t seen it offered anywhere else.”
“We really go by what the customers ask for,” Julie added. “If a flavor hasn’t been selling well, we’ll take it off our menu and try something new.”
They also offer seasonal mini cheesecakes, such as apple cider, eggnog, and white chocolate peppermint.
All three sisters bake, decorate, market, and sell their cakes.
“Emily is the creative brain of all three of us, but we really do everything together. We want to grow the business as a team,” Julie said.
The St. Jarre sisters sell their mini cheesecakes at Country Corners Grocery in Whitefield, as well as Maritime Farms in South China, Mulligan’s Market in Manchester, and Weston’s Meat Market in Farmingdale. They sell whole cheesecakes at Opa in Waterville and by special order.
Customers can place orders through The Perfect Circle Cheesecakery’s Facebook page or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Orders can be picked up at the Food Forge, at 17 Mills Road in Whitefield.
Customers can purchase a box of 16 mini cheesecakes, with up to four different flavors. They also sell smaller packages of two, four, and six mini cheesecakes.
The sisters work at the Food Forge kitchen from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Thursday.
“We strive to create the perfect cheesecake with every batch,” Julie said.