Alistair Brown (Art and design Lecturer, South Notts College)
I lived in Liverpool for a short while between 2006 and 2007, but it wasn’t till I went back a few years later that a friend of mine introduced me to Dafna’s Cheese Cake Factory as a celebratory treat after finishing our half Marathon in the spring of 2010.
This weekend I took my partner Sophie to sample a slice of Anne Lev’s baked raspberry cheesecake and found out a little more about her wonderful story.
Dafna’s Cheescake Factory is a small family run business on Smithdown road in Liverpool.
Anne with her gracious smile over joyed that we’d travelled “all the way from London”, considering the shop is advertised on certain American travel websites mine and Sophie’s journey didn’t seem very far at all.
We asked about the shops name and Anne pointed behind the counter to a photo of a budding captain at the tender age of sixteen “that’s Yacob my husband, the boat he’s sailing is called Dafna”
We were lucky enough to meet Yacob who was working away out back like the true craftsman, leaving Anne and her infectious charm to greet the customers, palming aside a multi coloured slat curtain and wearing a navy blue fisherman’s hat and matching woolly jumper he thanked us for our appreciation and then joined in in telling their story.
At the start of the 1970’s Yacob captained a ship to Chicago and it was there where Anne and her husband first sampled an extra special slice of cake.
Upon their return and bar a few tweaks to the original recipe the baking began. And at their son’s bar mitzvah word started to spread around south Liverpool about this new found treat.
In the early years Anne would work from home and make deliveries on daily basis in her mini van until demand became too high. With no need for advertising their business grew solely through word of mouth and with continuing rave reviews.
All of the promising feedback soon prompted Anne to start delivering to local delis as her recipe became highly sought after; she now supplies many of Bold Streets key cafes, restaurants and surrounding entertainment venues.
Dafna's Cheese Cake Factory as if illustrated for a children's storybook is now not only a staple of Smithdown Road but of the city of Liverpool.
Photo: Anne Lev at the counter of Dafna's Cheese Cake Factory