South Jersey singer-turned-chef bakes delicious cheesecakes with a powerful message on the side

Friday, July 24, 2020
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"I've always been a strong advocate with the kids, especially being a black man. And we don't see enough of that." Community Journalist Matteo introduces us.

WILLIAMSTOWN, N.J. -- Brandon Alwan is a school teacher, singer, actor, chef, and entrepreneur. But it's easier to simply call him a leader.

"You can be all of it," he said. "The sky's the limit. And I try to push that on my students as well as the community."

When he's not crafting minds in the classroom or crooning on stage, he's cooking in the kitchen.

The 30-year-old embarked on his latest journey earlier this year when he founded his own baking business, appropriately named, "Pinch His Cheesecakes."

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Alwan decided to pause his sales. However, he learned that a dessert delivery service might be exactly what his community needed during this crisis.

Now, he's sweetening up his kitchen with cheesecake flavors like strawberry, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and Fruity Pebbles.

Some may call Alwan a jack of all trades but a master of none. He disagrees.

"Actually, I've mastered it. That's why I'm moving on to the next thing," he said about his panoply of skills.

It is this can-do attitude that shines brightest among all his talents. He imparts this moral to every crowd that plays the audience to his voice, whether it is a classroom of fifth-graders or fans of his music.

Alwan's voice is decidedly just as rich and smooth as his cheesecakes. He was primed to create a third studio album and embark on a tour this year, although COVID-19 postponed the latter.

Aside from belting soulful love ballads, Alwan speaks in even greater volumes about the state of the black community.

"I've always been a strong advocate with the kids, especially being a black man. And we don't see enough of that," he said. "You can do anything you want in life. Nothing is going to stop you but yourself."

These words especially ring true when he teaches students in the very same room where he studied as a sixth-grader at Winslow Township School #5.

Alwan works alongside his best friend and manager, Christine Feggans, of CURE LLC, which stands for, "Changing the Universe Reaching Everyone." Feggans is involved in the community herself, recently being elected to the Williamstown Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

To learn more about Brandon's music or cheesecakes, visit his Facebook page.

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