Sometimes, the stars align and things happen exactly as they should.
According to Jennifer Geils, owner of The Cheesecake Cutie & Cafe, that’s exactly how this incredible new restaurant on Anna Maria Island came to be.
After making her mother’s cheesecake recipes as a hobby for years, friends encouraged her to make a business of it. She took a chance, and after attending a wedding show in her then-hometown of Orlando, her business started to take off. She put in her two-week’s notice at her job and was ready to venture out on her own…. and two weeks later, COVID-19 shut the economy down.
After a brief panic, she did the only thing she could think to do — announced her business on a local restaurant site. She didn’t expect the huge response she received! Soon, she had to book a commissary kitchen so she could keep up with orders from area restaurants. As searching for a more permanent location without success, she and her family came to Anna Maria Island for a vacation. It was here that she came across her current space — 3324 Eastbay Drive, Holmes Beach, FL 34217.
Jennifer and her family have now moved to Anna Maria Island and she runs her new restaurant full time. When asked about the move, she said:
“To this very day, everyone on AMI is so supportive and so nice. It has been an amazing experience to be in a place where everyone genuinely wants you to succeed and do well. We love being on the island and by the beach and my love for sunsets has just increased even more! I honestly can not wait for everyone to know The Cheesecake Cutie & Café.“
Not only does Jennifer serve up amazing mini cheesecakes, known as “Cheesecake Cuties,” but she also offers “ginormous” sandwiches, wraps, salads, and “Scuties” (1-2 bite skewers that are perfect for appetizers). They also make stunningly artistic charcuterie boards that are perfect for any occasion.
The Cheesecake Cutie is truly a family affair. In mid-December, Jennifer’s husband Kane added the sandwiches to the menu and their popularity exploded. The “Little” Joey (Italian Sub), Old Bay Shrimp & Chicken Salad (both pictured below) sell out most days they’re offered.
While the sandwiches are Kane’s creations, the salads are family recipes. Their Italian and Greek dressings are Kane’s Grandmother’s secret recipe and only Kane knows it. He had to promise to NEVER share it.
The “On the Go” charcuterie boards were designed by Jennifer’s best friend in Orlando, and Kane designs all of the custom-ordered boards. They’re simple, delicious, and gorgeous!
When you stop by to visit (and we know you will!) take a quick look at their photo wall. It features images of all the family and friends who helped them get to where they are today. Jennifer and Kane credit the support of their loved ones for their success. When asked to describe their restaurant, she said:
“Our store is the true meaning of a Family Business. When you come into our store, we want you to feel relaxed, happy, and as if you just walked into your family’s house.“
When you hear the words #SupportLocal — this is what it really means. For Jennifer and her family, it’s not just a hashtag, it’s what keeps their business going. Stop by and support this amazing new local restaurant — you’ll be glad you did!
The Cheesecake Cute & Café is open Monday through Saturday from 11 am until 4 pm. You can follow them on Facebook and Instagram to learn more about upcoming events, food specials, and more! When you see them, be sure to tell them you heard about it on Discover Bradenton!