Several months ago, I learned that Cheesecake.com had been listed for sale in September, and Brooke Hernandez of Domain Advisors was representing the seller of the domain name and website. According to Toby Clements, brother of one of the owners, Cheesecake.com was recently sold.
From today’s TobyClements.com domain sales newsletter:
“On a completely different note, I want to give a shout out to my brother, David Clements and his business partner on Cheesecake.com, Harvey Kaplan.
They just sold Cheesecake.com for an undisclosed amount. They bought the domain from us in Milan, Italy back in 2010 and David has put in a lot of time and effort to develop it out. I don’t know what the number was, but I know that he has a big smile on his face, therefore it must be a nice one.“
The current owner of Cheesecake.com appears to be GourmetGiftBaskets.com, a company based in Manchester, New Hampshire specializing in gift baskets. Clearly, the company understands the value of descriptive domain names, and will likely become a leader in the cheesecake business.
I reached out to GourmetGiftBaskets.com for comments about Cheesecake.com and its plans for the website, and I will update this if the company is willing to offer any details about its acquisition.
*** UPDATE ***
I received an email from Ryan Abood, President & CEO of GourmetGiftBaskets.com, and he provided some additional information about the plans for the domain name and website:
The Cliff’s notes on the sale are that the amount is and will remain private.
In terms of a re-launch, we are shooting for Wednesday @ midnight; ambitious, but do-able.
By the end of February, we’ll triple the amount of flavors and sizes for sale on Cheesecake.com.
The brutal truth is that by owning Cheesecake.com we get to have a lot more fun as a retailer with the flavors and sizes we can offer than we could on our parent company website at GourmetGiftBaskets.com!
This will be a COMPLETE redesign, and overhaul of Cheesecake.com from top to bottom.
There will also be a COMPLETE overhaul of the business model too.
We handle 100% of all aspects of bakery management and fulfillment in house, and have massive economies of scale in comparison to what Cheesecake.com enjoyed before our acquisition. Customers can still expect the very best cheesecake on the planet, coupled with shipping costs that are at least HALF of what most of our new competitors are charging. For consumers, it will be the go-to destination on the web for cheesecake.
The “gifting segment” accounts for 85% of sales in the online Cheesecake marketplace. Since we are one of the largest gift basket companies in the country, Cheesecake is a natural fit. When you take a platform like Cheesecake.com and pair it with the world class fulfillment operations of a premier gift basket company, the acquisition is a recipe for success. We are excited as kid in a candy store as this means we get to take a killer category on our parent site, and BLOW IT OUT with selection and pricing that is going to shake up a marketplace that has been dying for some new blood.
You should also make note that NutsOnline.com (the leading online e-commerce company that sells nuts) recently acquired Nuts.com from Phil Gordon and changed their entire company name and brand from NutsOnline.com to Nuts.com.
Thanx for that update – good news in the domain development world! Cheesecake.com reached page 1 of Google, alongside other cheese cake companies.
Interesting about NutsOnline! That sound like copy to market domains.
A great name, and a internet friendly product that can be shipped easily. Money in the bank all day long, if you back it up with the product, and service. Forget only 1000 names, you just need one like this.
I say the sale price was $525k. It’s a moot point but it’s fun to guess.
That would be a pretty nice ROI http://domainnamewire.com/2010/08/16/david-clements-buys-cheesecake-com-launches-site/
Congrats on the sale and purchase. A domainer would never want to touch this. Name been shopped in every direction. Glad to see an end user that gets name and gets it.
Whats interesting is this: Looks David owns 2 typos and wonder if they generate traffic or will give them to new owner. (Rick Owned a typo around candy.com and kept name going to a park page. No redirect)
Wwwcheesecakecom.com David Clements
Cheesecakecom.com David Clements
Our friend Mike owns CheeseCakes.net
Wow, thanks for the heads up.
This is precisely why I believe domainers, for the most part, are too shady to deal with. But i enjoy reading the blogs.
Seriously, you have “domainers” who make business deals and even get rev share but then siphon off typosquat traffic on the same domains for profit.
Just typed in wwwcandy.com and candycom.com and dont go to candy.com even though domainking owns them. What the !?!?
And clements pulls the same bs
Reinforces my intuition not to interact with “domainers” as they are not honorable to do business with.
I almost bought a domain for $25k last year from a newsletter. The broker ( not andrew @ mediaoptions) got greedy for a 1-2k and I pulled out. The next week the same domain was offered with 3 typo-misspellings that i wasnt offered. Not the brokers fault but the shady seller.
My opinion is domainers think small. In business trust and repeat business goes a long way. To domainers $100k is big, to businessmen $100m is big. I work with $100m men not $100k men. Therefore, even though i have bought and believed in domains since the 90’s, i am not a domainer and dont trust vast majority of “domainers”, kind of like i dont trust affiliates. Almost always looking for an angle instead of working hard with a straight angle
Thanks again @ typo
“To domainers $100k is big, to businessmen $100m is big. I work with $100m men not $100k men. ”
$100m is certainly big, but if you own a business that large, there are lots of worries. Selling one off domain names for $xxx,xxx/each can make for a nice living with significantly less stress than comes with operating a 8 or 9 figure business with employees, customers, and possibly shareholders. I’d rather have mid $x million and less stress than be responsible for a 9 figure company. Just my personal preference.
I can’t speak to what other domain investors do with their typos, but I personally would have given them at no additional cost as good will. I guess I would be embarrassed if I found out they knew I kept typo names and was monetizing them. Perhaps they don’t make much money and it’s an oversight. I don’t know and won’t speculate.
I was just curious why they still owned them but hey I respect it because its a “generic” typo and I was ready to buy a couple actually. The advertisers are happy and actually the traffic does convert on a typo depending on the variables actually.
I respect Rick. I only brought it up because he can forward that traffic to candy.com and probably make more on his revenue share agreement. Again not a big deal. Its his business and Clements as well.
Me personally and the price tag on candy.com and cheesecake.com(if I had personally owned them) I would have just given them for free with the package deal.
My intention was not calling any one out on this. Just stating some research.
Either way congrats and going be a wonderful business! And hey JP, we speculate and take huge risks. Its part of the game. Just like how people speculate in the stock market or buying a house to flip. Same goes with domain owners. So if your going call us out, call how any company that makes a profit or speculates. But I do agree on the typos being utilized with the new owners. My only comment on it being shopped around a lot, it would have been tough for another domainer to pick it up and re sell for a profit. I think Elliot or someone experienced would agree with this. Nothing wrong with that remark. It got in the hands of the right buyer for the domain. Its an end user! End users realizing the values of things!
Thanks for the response.
Couple of points, yes i am speculating but certainly one would have to believe this is not an oversight. Typos were acquired because domainers are savvy but were not passed on to buyers. This is sketchy, if one thinks to acquire typos for themselves they should think of passing them on to biz partners.
I didnt knock domainers who make xxx,xxx, just said that domainers often think small. Domainers mostly look to flip domains for a quick profit vs. Build businesses on them and put blood sweat tears into that business.
I dont own $100m company but have sold business (built on domains) for 7 figures, worked for the acquirer and made 7 figures off of $300m sale of that business, and work for new acquirer with multiple $100m men who could retire but choose to work. $100m do not have stress they just love competing and business challenges, wouldnt say a hobby but close.
With all due respect, i think you are speaking out of idealism. $20m-$50m biz owners have to worry like hell not to lose biz/market share and have significant stress not to lose to competition. @ $100m+ barriers to entry are significant and stress a lot less, especially with liquidity cash out.
Either you grow or get eaten alive, there is little room to stay in the middle, at least not with internet businesses.
Just my 2 cents
I would say if he purchased it for $100k, about 2 years ago, the sale price would be more like $250K range.
Wow…there is far more of a heated debate here than I was anticipating.
After reading some of the comments I feel instantly compelled to defend the honor of David Clements. I certainly understand many people’s feelings and opinions, but here are some facts people don’t know about the deal that will shed some light for people about the character of David Clements:
David VOLUNTEERED early on that he had a few quality typos of cheesecake.com and that they would be included in the purchase. My team and I have been so feverishly working on the re-launch since close, that we haven’t had the time to give David our account numbers to push the domains: WWWCHEESECAKECOM.COM; WWWCHEESECAKE.COM; and others. In fact,
if I had provided my account numbers in a timely manner, the confusion about these domains would have been avoided. He asked several times for the numbers, we just didn’t/couldn’t deliver. We are happy to report that at the moment, we are in possession of all of David’s cheesecake related domains. And never mind domains…David & Harvey worked with us to port the 800 number so that there would be as little interruption as possible for existing customers.
Also, in my opinion, I think typos/related domains are largely over valued by the domain community. We’ve spent the last 9 years tying up most of the likely misspellings for our primary domain, and if a misspelling/typo/similar domain gets one or two orders a year, we’re impressed!
I’m not here defending other domainers…I’m just here defending David and his character.
And a sincere “thank you” to all the people wishing us well!
Ryan D. Abood”
I agree with respect to David’s character. I’ve known him for several years and have nothing but good things to say about him. As I suspected, it wasn’t anything malicious.
how do you completely overhaul a business selling cheesecake ?
I few months ago you had posted it was listed at $500k, so I would guess it was close to that number.