This celebrated S.F. cheesecake institution is changing hands

Zanze's cheesecakes will be sold at Original Joe's restaurants and market, as its founder, Sam Zanze, retires.

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21 · 9 days ago · Reddit

The 90-year-old maker of one San Francisco’s most beloved and time-honored desserts is retiring, but his delicate cheesecakes will continue on under new ownership.

Zanze’s Cheesecake owner Sam Zanze, who has been painstakingly baking cheesecakes for over four decades, is selling the business to the family behind longtime Italian restaurant Original Joe’s. They’ll be for sale starting this spring at Little Original Joe’s, the restaurant group’s West Portal market, and eventually on the menu at Original Joe’s in San Francisco, Daly City and Walnut Creek.

It’s a passing of the torch with deep connections. Zanze once worked as a waiter at Original Joe’s, which Tony Rodin opened in San Francisco in 1937. Rodin, who came from the same Croatian island as Zanze’s father, babysat a young Zanze. Rodin’s grandchildren John and Elena Duggan who now run Original Joe’s, grew up on Zanze’s Cheesecakes. On the bakery's opening day in 1979, their mother, Marie Duggan, was there, answering phones.