By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Sep 30, 2011 at 1:03 PM

True story: Anthony Rupert's business began with a cheesecake and a police officer.

"A cop – at my other job – brought a pumpkin cheesecake to work that she bought from somewhere. I tried a slice and then I said, 'OK, I have to learn how to make this,'" says Rupert.

Rupert, who works as an office assistant for the Milwaukee Police Department, was so inspired that he went home and did some trial-and-error experimenting in his kitchen until he finally created a pumpkin cheesecake that he believed was better than the one he had tasted at work.

He started thinking about how expensive some cheesecakes were and decided he wanted to sell them for less.

"My mission is to sell delicious cheesecake at an affordable price to the public," he says.

In January 2010, Rupert, who lives on Milwaukee's North Side, started Northgate Taste, a small business offering cheesecakes of all kinds, including low-sugar, sugar-free, vegan and gluten-free. He runs every aspect of the business, from the baking to the marketing to the shipping, by himself.

"It's just me and my kitchen," he says.

Rupert says he learned from his mother how to cook and bake, but that he does not have any formal experience other than a lot of kitchen experimentation. Because of his creative approach to cheesecake making, he has concocted very original recipes, like the vegan turtle, along with classics like strawberry and raspberry.

Northgate Taste also offers vegan blackberry, KitKat, caramel apple, cappuccino / caramel / chocolate chip, cinnamon swirl, lemon meringue, vegan caramel cashew, sweet potato, key lime and many more.

Rupert says he is open to folding just about anything into a cheesecake.

"I make whatever kind of cheesecake the customer orders. If more than one flavor is ordered on a single cake, I usually suggest something along the lines of, 'I would suggest making it like this ...' That is what makes my cheesecakes special," he says.

Northgate Taste cheesecakes start at $14.50 and they can be shipped anywhere or picked up directly from Rupert's North Side baking space. From Oct. 1 to Nov. 1, all vegan cheesecakes are $3 off for World Vegan Day which takes place on Nov. 1, 2011.

Rupert started making vegan cakes to increase options for customers, and as a challenge to himself. He wasn't even sure at first if a vegan cheesecake was a possibility or an oxymoron. Once he created a line of vegan cakes, he decided to experiment with gluten- and sugar-free cheesecakes as well.

"It's important to me that people know I clean my oven very thoroughly before baking gluten-free or vegan cheesecakes to make sure there is absolutely no sign of animal products or gluten," says Rupert.

Rupert lived on the North Side of Milwaukee his entire life. He graduated from Washington High School in 1999. He hopes his business will continue to expand and that someday, he can sell his cheesecakes at natural food stores and co-ops.

"People say they like my cheesecakes simply because they taste good. And I really can't think of a reason why someone wouldn't like them," he says.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.