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Satisfying the farmer’s sweet tooth
by Garrett E. Valenzuela
Jul 11, 2013 | 1428 views | 2 2 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela -- Sweet Creams Cheesecakery co-owners Sara Hook, left, and Kasey Valdez display a pair of their innovative creations Thursday afternoon at the Sparks Farmer's Market on Victorian Avenue.
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela -- Sweet Creams Cheesecakery co-owners Sara Hook, left, and Kasey Valdez display a pair of their innovative creations Thursday afternoon at the Sparks Farmer's Market on Victorian Avenue.
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SPARKS -- Before Sweet Creams Cheesecakery began serving up gourmet cheesecake to local residents, Sparks business co-owners Allison and Sara Hook and Kasey Valdez were just family members who loved baking and snacking on cheesecake at home.

What began as a simple joke evolved into a delicious small business that is finding traction while stationed street side at the Sparks Farmer’s Market on Victorian Avenue.

“It was kind of a fluke thing the way we started,” Sara said Thursday afternoon in downtown Sparks, “Because I was making cheesecakes at home and family members were commenting saying, ‘Oh, you guys should sell these.’ Then my cousin, and partner, said why don’t we actually do it?”

As plans developed, the trio of Sparks residents tried to separate themselves from the traditional cheesecake market by fusing flavors and blending traditional techniques with innovative thinking. The result has led them to cheesecake flavors that, upon first reading of ingredients, might surprise any customer approaching their booth at the farmer’s market.

“After we decided to go ahead and do it, we started trying to develop unique flavors that you can’t find anywhere else,” Sara said. “We have a couple of really unique flavors, like our Guinness chocolate cheesecake and avocado cheesecake with lime. We are constantly trying to think of more innovative flavors rather than just the regular New York, chocolate and those kinds.”

Sara admitted that the twist in flavors does come with a risk, but thus far in the business venture it has been a success.

“We are kind of putting ourselves out there with our flavors but people are biting so far, which is really good,” she said. “A lot of people like with our avocado and lime they kind of get a weird disgusted face, but then we put out our samples and they end up buying a box to take home.”

The team behind Sweet Creams Cheesecakery knew right away that the Sparks Farmer’s Market would be a great place to start marketing their business. Having lived in Sparks for several years, Sara said she was happy to come join the vending crowd on Victorian Avenue and take in the view from the other side of the booth.

“When you don’t have a storefront, you have to try every avenue possible to get your name out there and this is a great way to meet people and to market ourselves,” Sara said. “There is usually a pretty good crowd and, in addition to social media, it is really just the best option for us.

“The crowd has actually changed since I used to come here a lot. It used to be a lot younger and I think we all have kind of grown up. Everyone out here is really friendly, personable and we have enjoyed it.”

On the flip side of the Sparks Farmer’s Market, Sweet Creams relies heavily on its website and social media to spread the word about its edible creations. The online content has also made it possible for the business to interact with its fans and customers, which inspires the business team to be even more open about its cooking.

“A lot of the way we try to market is that if there is something not on our menu that you would like to see, we would be happy to create it for you,” Sara said.

Not having its own location to sell its products still poses a challenge for Sweet Creams, which uses a commercial kitchen based in Reno to bake its goods. Sara said the team is taking the “conservative route,” saving its money to eventually open a store, but she added that a food truck might serve the place of a store in the interim.

Sweet Creams Cheesecakery is available by phone at 848-2616, online at www.sweetcreamsreno.com and on Facebook and Twitter. You can catch them at the Sparks Farmer’s Market throughout the summer and also at IdleWild Park in Reno beginning next week.
Comments
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Team Ulewicz
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July 19, 2013
These girls make the BEST cheesecake my family has ever had! My husband is a HUGE fan of the "kiss my blarney" and the "dentist dilemma" is sure to satisfy even the biggest choco-holic!
vangie lynn L.V.
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July 19, 2013
Best avocado cheese cake in town.
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