Georgia teen with autism finds passion, business success with baking cheesecakes

What started out as a hobby is now a full-time job for Oconee County teenager.

Jack Leach has always loved baking, so he took that love to the next level when he started Jack's Cheesecakes.

His skills in the kitchen have even won him awards against other restaurants.

Before he finished high school or even got his driver's license, Jack, who has autism and is nonverbal, found his passion.

"He made his first cheesecake with his grandma Donny," Jack's dad Brent Leach said.

That was four years ago, when Jack was just 15-year-old. That passion quickly went from a hobby to a business.

"He started making cheesecakes like every night," Brent Leach said. "We didn't really know what to do with those cheesecakes - we sure weren't going to eat them all."

So Brent quit his day job, and that's how Jack's Cheesecake was born.

The father-son duo started doing pop-up bake sales, beginning at Jack's middle school. Over time, restaurants started taking notice too. You can find Jack's Cheesecakes at various places around the county including Striplings General Store in Bogart.

"We have people constantly asking for Jack's Cheesecake," one employee at the store told FOX 5.

The pair have outgrown their home kitchen too, baking upwards of 70 cheesecakes in a day. They specialize in everything from the classic New York-style cheesecake to seasonal flavors.

"We get here in the morning. We start doing some prep work. We grind graham cracker crumbs. We make all our fruit sauces and caramel homemade," Brent Leach said.

Jack hopes his business will inspire other young adults with special needs.

Their goal now is to expand their operations.

If you'd like to support Jack's Cheesecakes, they have a fundraiser to help them in their goal to create a positive, bright future for those in the community with autism on GoFundMe.