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Cheat Day Cheesecakes makes it easy to enjoy a sneaky late night snack

Cheat Day Cheesecakes makes it easy to enjoy a sneaky late night snack

Cheat Day Cheesecakes makes it easy to enjoy a sneaky late night snack
July 22
16:12 2018

Twenty-year-old Alexandria Reid has combined food trucks, sweet treats and mason jars to create her own personal business: Cheat Day Cheesecakes.

Her cherry red food truck can often be found parked behind East Side bar or Backyard on Bell from 7 p.m. until 1 a.m. Cheesecake and creme brulee may not be a usual choice for a late-night snack, but Reid makes it seem like the only logical one. The bottom of the menu reads “Life is uncertain, eat dessert first.” This attitude of seizing the moment is one that Reid lives by.

“Anybody you ask that has known me since I was a kid would [say], ‘Yeah, she does what she wants,’” Reid said. “That is a big thing because I’ve worked with people who have [said], ‘I hate my job, I want to go back to school’ and it’s like, ‘Do it — why don’t you?'”

Her journey to the food truck was a fast one. After conceiving the idea, she immediately set out to make it a reality to get the truck in business.

“[The] first cheesecake I made was on Valentine’s Day of this year,” Reid said. “On Feb. 19 I decided I was going to have a food truck, went to five different trailer stores [and] looked at all the products, went to the health department and got a checklist. [I] had a food truck by April 7 and opened up.”

The opening of Cheat Day Cheesecake signaled a change in career for Reid, who formerly worked in sales at places like Zales and a car dealership. Her first day with the truck was not under ideal circumstances, but her unwavering positivity allowed her to appreciate the success of the day.

“It was freezing rain — that day was super cold,” Reid said. “I was at Backyard on Bell, and they were having a big political event, so there were lots of people there. But I was outside the front door and not plugged in, and I didn’t have a heater. I was working out of coolers still.  A lot of [the people who showed up were] friends and people I had sold cars to. It was super exciting because I got like 10 reviews that day.”

In the three months the truck has been open, Reid said things have only gotten better. Reid credits this to her thorough preparation during the planning stages of the business.

“I can’t say I have hit a big roadblock because I try to be super positive about everything,” Reid said. “I had a 30-point checklist, so I knew exactly what I was getting into. The last week is when I did everything, so I built up and focused on my flavors. A lot of it was, ‘How am I going to brand myself?'”

Reid operates her food truck alone, but she has a support system in her family, who have been involved in the process from the moment she got the idea. Her sister came up with the name “Cheat Day Cheesecake,” and her dad helps her back up the trailer when she needs to park. Her mother even works for her.

“I employ my mom to help me out, and she loves it,” Reid said. “She just cleans up after me [in the kitchen] because I’m a complete mess. I’ll be making cheesecake and it’s going everywhere — milk spilling — and she comes in behind me and wipes everything down and washes the dishes.”

Reid’s long-time friend and neighbor Michael Laris is another one of her supporters. She and Laris met when she was 8 years old, and they bonded over his St. Bernard puppy. When Reid’s family moved in next door, they invited Laris over for dinner often.

“We started forming a friendship surrounding various foods,” Laris said.

Noticing Reid’s affinity for baking, he gave her appliances to use to hone her passion.

“She was always into baking — she loved to bake,” Laris said. “The first present I ever gave her was a set of measuring cups. I [also] had a set of cheesecake tins I had not used in years, [so] I gave it to her.”

Laris also gifted her a dessert cookbook years ago and was able to watch her test out different recipes.

“Even some of the more challenging recipes in there, she’d go in and give it a try,” Laris said. “They may not have always come out picture perfect, but they were always really good.”

Cheesecake has had a prominent spot in Reid’s life since she made her first one in February.

Cheat Day Cheesecakes & Creme Brulee, a business started by twenty-year-old Alex Reid, brings a cheesy twist to the average dessert food truck. Josh Jamison

“Every day is busy, and every day is cheesecake day,” Reid said. “I’m sick of my cheesecake — I don’t eat it anymore, but I taste all the batters.”

Sticking to a strict schedule of cooking, grocery excursions and sale days is what helps Reid keep her dessert truck business running smoothly.

“Sundays are my off days unless I decide to sell,” Reid said. “Monday and Tuesday are the days that I crank out 600 cheesecakes. I go to Aldi and buy 200 bars of cream cheese — they love me. I have to go to three grocery stores to get everything because I’m a bargain shopper. Usually it’s in the evening [that] I cook because it’s not so hot.”

Being parked among other food trucks has allowed Reid to make friends with fellow vendors, like Hector Zamora. She and Zamora opened at around the same time and have been supporting each other’s business.

“She is an amazing person — bubbly personality,” Zamora said. “She is very trustworthy. I see her as one of my children because she is half my age — she is only 20 and look at what she is doing. I think she is doing phenomenal.”

Zamora finds Reid’s concept to be special and thinks it is a large part of her success.

“She is very unique in that aspect,” Zamora said. “Other than the regular snow cone truck or ice cream pushcart, there’s really not somebody there that does cheesecake and creme brulee, and now she has teamed up with Skylight coffee, there is nobody else in town that I am aware of that is doing that in a food truck.”

Though she is still relatively new to making cheesecake, consistency is a value that Reid has always observed and relied on. Her consistent business regime paired with her consistent inspired view on life has led her to consider trying out for the hit ABC show “Shark Tank.”

“I’ve baked my whole life.” Reid said. “This cheesecake, the way it’s made is, it’s cooked underwater so it’s never burnt — it’s never overcooked. It is going to be the same every time. That’s why I [thought], ‘This would be perfect for a food truck’ because quality is so important. I’ve worked really hard on it.”

Featured Image: Twenty-year-old Alexandria Reid sells homemade cheesecake and creme brulee out of her bright red trailer. She sets up at the truck stop at East Oak Street. Josh Jamison

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Nikki Johnson-Bolden

Nikki Johnson-Bolden

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1 Comment

  1. Sharolyn
    Sharolyn July 23, 23:36

    Fantastic article. I just happen to know her mom & grandmother. They are super go getters themselves. The Apple doesn’t fall to far from the tree.

    Reply to this comment

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