'That Cheesecake Truck' Makes its Maiden Voyage
Driven by a desire to broaden their business and their charitable pursuits, Sweetz owners join D.C's fleet of mobile food vendors.
There’s a newcomer making its way today among Washington, D.C.’s horde of mobile food vendors—bright and blue and serving up succulent, creamy treasures to the ever-growing throng of food-truck aficionados.
After more than 20 years tucked away along the stretch of strip-mall eateries that flank the Montgomery County Airpark, Sweetz Cheesecake is taking its cream-and-sugar goodness on the go.
Husband and wife Craig and Andrea Barsi have baked side by side since opening their small shop on Snouffer School Road. When sales stumbled with the souring economy, the Germantown couple decided Sweetz needed to take another step in its evolution.
Andrea and her soon-to-be son-in-law Kevin Sizemore are manning the maiden voyage for That Cheesecake Truck—aka, “Big Blue”—stocked with more than 300 cakes in a half-dozen flavors and shrunken down to a pedestrian-friendly four inches.
"Everything matters, every single part of the business," Andrea said. "You can't just do one thing anymore. We can’t just do retail or wholesale or fund-raising, because you get stagnant. I just want to keep growing and changing."
The family is also after a good greater than that of their business: 10 percent of the truck's proceeds will go to a different charity each month, starting with Bread for the City.
"A big part of this is getting involved and becoming an even bigger part of the charity arena," Andrea said. "With the economy as difficult as it was on all of us in this country, it’s really important to remember what we all went through and what a small business can accomplish in giving back to the community."
That Cheesecake Truck kicked off Day One at Bread for the City, made its way to Howard University Hospital, then Metro Center before wrapping up at Farragut Square.
"We want the fans of That Cheesecake Truck to have a say in where it goes," said Barsi. "We’re always up for anything. If anybody has an idea, throw it at us and we’ll be ready."
Barsi believes they are the first cheesecake truck in the city, a new twist on a boom that has over the last few years made food trucks an increasingly familiar—and fashionable—fixture downtown.
"D.C. is just starting, and I think it’s going to be a long trend," Barsi said. "There’s room for mobile trucks, there’s room for restaurants. There’s room for everybody."