Time; we’ve had plenty of it on our hands over the past 12 months or so.
Covid-19 has presented us all with a multitude of challenges, including finding fresh ways to keep our minds and bodies active with normal routines thrown out of the window.
Nuneaton sisters Jessica and Katie Wilson were no different.
Jessica’s hair salon in Attleborough has been locked throughout 2021 due to government restrictions and has left her effectively unemployed for around a year.
Katie, a hair and make-up artist at Next’s head offices, has also seen her private bookings, such as weddings, hit considerably.
With no end to the pandemic in sight earlier this year, they hatched a plan to pour their energies into something creative and positive – with the added bonus of putting smiles on faces.
The Cheesecake Stop was born from the family home as the siblings put their backgrounds in catering into good use to create an eye-catching array of dessert creations, and made them available to the public via social media.
“We’d been toying with the idea of starting this venture for a fair few months,” said Katie. “But finally we thought, ‘let’s give it a go!’.
“We both have a background in catering and have done for the last 10 years or so. All we needed to do was renew our food and hygiene certificates!”
A busy first week in February set the tone as Nuneatonians wrapped their arms around the small business venture.
“We’re so grateful for all the support we’ve been getting,” added Jessica. “We love what we do and we hope that’s reflected in the cheesecakes.
“I mean, at the end of the day, who doesn’t love cheesecake?”
I certainly do. It’s a dessert rich with variety, from toppings and sauces, to cheesecake ingredients and textures, right down to the very bases they sit upon.
The Cheesecake Stop offers ‘The Classic Quad’ for £4.50 each or four for £16 (I mean who is going to order just one, right?). Bigger versions are available too.
Within the classic quad are flavour varieties; vanilla bean and raspberry, white chocolate truffle, lemon twist and salted caramel pretzel.
A special variety is released at 7pm every Monday via its social media accounts. It was my lucky day as the special the week I placed my order was chocolate and hazelnut.
The Classic Quad comes in a hand-crafted small cardboard box which has a personal touch, right down to the handwritten tag.
Each of the mini cheesecakes is wrapped in a strip of plastic to help keep it one piece as it makes the journey from their kitchen to your home.
The presentation is uncomplicated but provides enough information for the eye to identify the different varieties.
Peeling off the plastic reveals a soft, but structurally sound cylinder of soft cheesecake for you to prize apart with your fork or spoon.
Craft and care
To taste, this was miles ahead of anything you can buy packaged up at a supermarket. The craft and care that has gone into the production shines through with every bite.
The soft cheese element is light without being overly airy as to become a wishy-washy mouse affair. It’s sweet without being sickly and is truly indulgent.
It is stacked upon a biscuit base that can be deconstructed with the slightest poke of cutlery. Again, it has the right balance of texture and taste, while also performing the key role of anchoring down the shape of the cheesecakes.
While my eyes are drawn immediately to the pretzel and the shining caramel around it, it was the zesty lemon offering which I most enjoyed.
While I’m a fan of piling up desserts and customising it to your own tastes, it’s also refreshing sometimes to be served up something which is simple and focuses purely on flavour. I could see this being a fantastic concluding course in a wedding breakfast, for example.
The changes between the members of the quad are subtle but appealing. You’ll come away from it with a favourite, but not necessarily the one you expected it to be.
But my winner was the special. A crunchy chocolate topping with candied hazelnuts was simply divine. If you’re a fan of Nutella (yes, I’m firmly in that fan club) then this takes the familiar flavours of that spreadable treat and turns into a memorable dessert. Remember though, the special changes every week so you’ll have to keep your eyes on their social media for what’s being served any given week.
There’s nothing pretentious about the whole experience, which is likely contributing factor to The Cheesecake Stop’s continued success.
Even with industries waking up and life in the United Kingdom beginning to steps back towards normality, the Wilson sisters have felt the love of the people of their home town – and don’t intend to stop serving up their desserts any time soon.
“We’re going to continue – we’re both loving it,” said Katie. “It’s been more successful than we ever imagined it would be.
“The feedback we’ve got has been amazing too and putting smiles on other peoples’ faces has put one on ours, too, so we don’t want to stop doing that any time soon!”
Do you offer, or know of, a unique, intriguing or new food and drink offer which should be given consideration for a review? Email: email@example.com