For Shannon Vespa and her husband, Michael Vespa, July 27 couldn’t be any sweeter.

That’s the day the co-owners of Sweetie’s Cheesecakes will open their own commercial kitchen and store at 13033 Harmon Road, Ste. 203, Fort Worth.

The backstory

Before opening a location of their own, the husband and wife along with their children have been making their cheesecakes in rented commercial kitchens in the Fort Worth area. From October 2017 through December 2021, they worked at the Presbyterian Night Shelter in Fort Worth’s Near Eastside neighborhood. They switched locations to Del Norte Tacos in Godley, a small town just south of Fort Worth, where they’ve been working since.

“We have to be in a licensed commercial kitchen, and there are few and far between for rent,” Shannon said. “We were set to start in a different kitchen but then stumbled across the Presbyterian Night Shelter. The staff rented out the kitchen in the women’s shelter to small businesses. It was the perfect size and location, and we got to know some of the people who came there for assistance.”

Since they began making cheesecakes out of the shelter’s kitchen, the Vespas have grown the business so their cheesecakes are now available via wholesalers and retailers as well as shipping to several states.

The ‘sweet-ails’

Shannon said Sweetie's Cheesecakes are prepackaged, fully sealed, premium desserts made in reusable glass Kerr jars, which are then frozen to keep them fresh.

“We have four year-round flavors—plain, signature, chocolate and mango habanero—as well as more than 35 seasonal and spicy flavors,” Shannon said. “Customers either buy the cheesecakes to eat on the spot or buy them frozen to take home.”

One of the bestselling cheesecakes is whiskey peach. Shannon said they use ripe Texas peaches, which they cut into chunks and cook them in a bit of sugar and Firestone and Robertson's TX Whiskey.

“We use a natural peach flavor in the batter, and then peaches are added to each cheesecake by hand,” Shannon said. “Next, we make a peach caramel that we swirl on top while our buttery, sweet graham cracker crust is at the bottom of the jar.”

As a true family business, Shannon does the marketing and takes care of the books, while their children help out around the kitchen and make deliveries. Michael is the cook and has been relying on the same 40-year-old original cheesecake recipe—which contains lemon and orange zest—since he made his first one as a teenager.

In case you missed it

Sweetie’s Cheesecakes will open its new location just in time for National Cheesecake Day on July 30. The family will be out at the Parker County Peach Festival in Weatherford on July 8, selling cheesecakes at a booth.