Cheesecake Factory founder David Overton tells his story in Fortune:
When I was growing up in the 1950s, my father, Oscar Overton, managed retail stores in Detroit. My mother, Evelyn, found a recipe for cheesecake and made one for my father's boss. He liked it so much that he asked if she could make 12 cheesecakes that he could give to friends as Christmas gifts. That gave her the idea of going into business. So she made cheesecakes in the basement during the day, and in the evening my father delivered them to two restaurants in town. I got a penny per box for folding the cake boxes.