Success Stories

Timothy Hendrickson, Owner

Mellow Brew Cheesecake House

Mellow Brew blends cheesecake, coffee

Dyer, IN – Mellow Brew Cheesecake House owner Timothy Hendrickson believes he’s found the perfect mix at his new business, bringing together coffee and cheesecake. Hendrickson lets the distinctive flavors he creates stand on their own, serving up the dessert without any fancy topping.

"You want to taste the cheesecake - the Grey Poupon of desserts," Hendrickson said. "I want to capture the flavor and taste and take it up a notch."

On any given day, customers will find an array of offerings, from traditional cheesecake flavors, such as pumpkin and peanut butter cup, to his creations, such as root beer float and pink lady, which is a fusion of watermelon, strawberry and cherry. Hendrickson rounds out his menu with teas, pies, and brownies. 

Hendrickson feels the Mellow Brew atmosphere is as important as its menu. With wireless available, he invites people to hang out, setting the stage with cozy couches and indoor water fountains. But there aren't numbers on the walls or newspapers on the tables. "We are a down-to-earth coffee shop, a media-free open forum," Hendrickson said. "I don't want to offer numbers and corporate slogans. I want people to relax. It's their choice to bring in a newspaper, but if they leave it on a table, it goes in the trash." 

Hendrickson left behind life as a maintenance electrician to launch Mellow Brew. As a new small business owner, he appreciates all the support he can get, especially from organizations such as the Northwest Indiana Small Business Development Center.

"You can actually exhaust yourself, mentally and physically, in thinking about your business," Hendrickson said. "Joshua (Lybolt) cares. He said, 'I've been there, I understand some of the feelings that you are feeling.' I did everything myself, but you can't forget people are behind you and people believe."

Lybolt, regional director of NWI SBDC, said support of small businesses is crucial right now, not only by organizations, but also by the public and business community.

"In this current economic climate, our support of small businesses is even more significant," Lybolt said. "Entrepreneurs take a risk and jump into the unknown when they launch a new small business. We are here as a safety net when they need it most." 

Hendrickson welcomes the help as he feels he is at a transitional stage with his new business.

"If I do take off, I'm willing to fly. Life is too short," Hendrickson said. "I'm in the hot-air balloon at take-off and I'm dropping the weight that is holding me back. You have to let go and not look back. I am willing to work around the clock to be a success."

Hendrickson hopes to be the person to reinvent the cheesecake and he continues to ponder new flavors, including peppermint and eggnog, for the holiday season. He said customized cheesecakes are not out of the question.

"I want to talk to customers and hit the mark all the time. If a customer has an idea, I will listen to it. I believe in doing my best." 

The Mellow Brew Cheesecake House is located in Dyer, 1060 Joliet Street, and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, contact Hendrickson at 219-864-8884. The NWI SBDC provides free assistance to entrepreneurs in the process of launching or expanding their businesses. Through on-on-one consulting, advisors help guide small businesses toward their goals by offering referrals, workshops, training opportunities and other essential business tools.






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