This weekend, Lisa Cotoggio of Grandma’s Cheesecake Sandwiches is opening up her first brick-and-mortar shop at 12-40 Clintonville St. From 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sept. 28, visitors can sample the decadent confections inspired by her grandmother Raphaella’s cheesecake recipe.
From 5 to 7 p.m., children can also participate in face painting and balloon twisting.
Cotoggio said that Raphaella moved to Whitestone in 1955, making it the ideal place to establish her business. She added that her grandmother lived close to the business, which previously housed Caffe Italia and Pastry Shop.
For the past five and a half months, Cotoggio has been getting the store ready for customers and testing new recipes. Her goal is to have 12 flavor varieties available daily.
“I’ve been testing and testing and testing new recipes but I’ve had to get used to baking in a new kitchen,” Cotoggio said.
The dessert combines Raphaella’s classic recipe between two freshly baked cookies. In addition to her standard flavors, Cotoggio’s new combinations include cherry chocolate chip cheesecake in red cookies and white chocolate cheesecake sandwiched between two chocolate cookies.
Customers can also purchase other “grab-and-go” baked goods like pound cakes and croissants as well as branded T-shirts and sweatshirts.
Prior to opening her business, she baked her treats at Cardinali Bakery in Syosset. But when the owner decided to renovate the space, she knew it was time to take her business to the next level.
In October, she told QNS that she initially wanted to open up a food truck but learned that the city had over a decade of unfulfilled applications. She began selling the cheesecake sandwiches at local shops in Queens, which she plans to continue doing.
Cotoggio also said that she wants to expand her reach to bigger retail stores and currently has deals with several large supermarkets in the works.
Grandma’s Cheesecake Sandwiches grand opening is on Saturday, Sept. 28, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Hours of operation are Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.