Attention Roosevelt Field shoppers: There is cheesecake just outside of JCPenney.
Laurie Jefferson has been selling cheesecake since 2011, but in November she and her family set up a modest kiosk just to the right of department store’s first-floor entrance. The Cheesecake Spot is open for business whenever the mall is open, and Jefferson knows that it performs a valuable service for overwhelmed holiday shoppers.
“Cheesecake doesn’t ask questions. Cheesecake understands,” reads a sign mounted on the countertop.
Jefferson’s son Justin came up with that motto; her son Steven designed the logo. Children Ada and Ralph pitch in too and husband Ralph modestly describes himself as “chief taster,” even though he built the kiosk from scratch.
Laurie Jefferson had always baked for friends and family, but after she completed a pastry course at the Star Culinary Academy in Syosset (which closed in 2016), she decided to go pro. Cheesecakes, which she could have taken or left in her younger years, became a passion. “I don’t exactly know what I love about them,” she said. “But they are so versatile. The same base can be used to make any flavor.”
There are 17 varieties in Jefferson’s rotation; seven or so are always on offer at the kiosk. Besides plain, the top sellers are strawberry swirl, sweet potato swirl and cookies & cream.
The cheesecakes are round and come in three regular sizes. The mini, $7.50 to $8.25 depending on flavor, is about four inches across and easily feeds two; the single, $4.25 to $5.25, is the equivalent of a normal slice; “bites,” each enough for about three bites, come three to a package, $8 to $9. Full-sized 9-inch cheesecakes are available by special order and start at $35.
All of Jefferson’s wares are packaged to go, but she is also conveniently located next to a comfortable grouping of sofas and around the corner from Starbucks. For those emergency cheesecake situations.
The Cheesecake Spot is located just outside the first-floor entrance to JCPenney at Roosevelt Field, 630 Old Country Rd., Garden City, 516-742-0049.