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Cheesecake deli in Waynesboro offers sweet delights

April 15, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Paula Hoover wanted to open a coffee shop.

Her husband, Brian Hoover, likes to make cheesecake.

So opening a cafe that sold both seemed a natural venture.

The Cheesecake Cafe & Deli opened Wednesday at 304 W. Main St.

The building is no stranger to the restaurant business.

At one time, it housed a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant. That was followed by Ralph's Ribs and then, before the Hoovers moved in, by a deli that specialized in soups and sandwiches, a venture that only lasted a few months, Paula Hoover said.

The space came complete with booths, tables, a large counter and deli case and a modern kitchen. "All we had to do was to clean up the place," Paula Hoover said.

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"A lot of people have been stopping by saying they can't wait for us to open because there's nothing at this end of town," she said.

She said she hopes to pull in customers from nearby manufacturing plants and Fairview Elementary School.

The cafe will open for breakfast at 6 a.m. and close after lunch at 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Hours will be expanded in the summer months, she said.

The menu will include breakfast specialties, soups, sandwiches, subs and of course, cheesecake.

Brian Hoover makes the cheesecakes on the premises, all from his own recipes.

His expertise in cheesecake-making stems from his parents.

"My father liked cheesecake, but my mother didn't make them because she said they were too difficult," he said.

"I started to experiment and got good at making them," he said.

At first, Brian Hoover made them for family and friends and then for others. "People started to want them all the time so we decided to open the shop," he said.

His specialties vary according to demand. While he makes New York style cheesecakes - the plain ones with fruit topping, his culinary artistry stretches into cakes made with white chocolate, red raspberries, carrot cake and his favorite, chocolate with peanut butter. "They're very rich," he said, pinching his index finger and thumb to show that it doesn't take a large piece to satisfy a craving. He estimated that his chocolate-peanut butter cheesecakes have about 850 calories per slice.

Brian Hoover also bakes low-sugar, no- sugar and low-fat cheesecakes for diet-conscious customers.

"We cater to people with diabetes here," Paula said. "It's hard for them to find places to eat."

The Hoovers live in Greencastle, Pa.

Paula Hoover, 34, quit her job as a billing clerk in a chiropractor's office. Brian Hoover, 42, will keep his job at Letterkenny Army Depot.

Relatives will help out in the business, they said.

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