Sisters turn government shutdown into Walmart cheesecake deal

The longest government shutdown could have been devastating for a couple of sisters in Baltimore.

But when Nikki Howard and Jaqi Wright needed to pay bills and put food on the table as they, along with 800,000 other federal workers, were locked out of their jobs, they had a sweet plan.

And now they have a contract with retail giant Walmart to help sell their cheesecake creations, WJLA reported.

“Cheesecake has been my weakness since I can remember,” Howard told WRC in January, just a few weeks into the shutdown.

“Our mother said, ‘You know what, girl?’ You could sell these cheesecakes’ and ding ding ding ding went off in my mind. And it’s like, we can sell these cheesecakes,” Wright told WRC.

They came up with The Furlough Cheesecake.

In their first week, they had 100 orders from all over the country: Atlanta, Indiana, Texas, the sisters told WRC.

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Their story and their cheesecake caught the attention of Ellen DeGeneres, who surprised the sisters with a $20,000 order for a single cheesecake.

A week later, the sisters delivered.

Since their story went viral, they also had to rent industrial kitchen space to keep up with orders, and they have quit their jobs with the government. 

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And come August, Walmart will start stocking their cheesecakes in about 100 stores in the Washington, D.C. area, WJLA reported.

They’re going to be a mini version of their cheesecakes. 

But they’re not only supplying Walmart. 

The sisters’ baked goods are featured at Bethesda Blues and Jazz ClubWJLA reported.

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