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Business Observer Monday, Jun. 15, 2020 3 months ago

With NFL great as a fan, couple expands cheesecake biz to new cafe

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Safety Harbor-based Bassano Cheesecake to hold a grand opening celebration.

SAFETY HARBOR — Bassano Cheesecake, a family-owned cheesecake company, will open its first cafe on Friday at 507 Main St. in Safety Harbor. 

The new venture is led by the husband-and-wife team of Tom and Cindy Bassano, who, according to a press release, started making cheesecakes in their home kitchen because they couldn’t find authentic, New York-style cheesecakes at local delis and bakeries, and they couldn’t find a company up north that would ship to Florida. So in June 2019, they replicated Tom Bassano’s aunt’s cheesecake recipe and began wholesaling cheesecakes to local delis, catering companies and restaurants. 

Fox 13 TV host Charley Belcher, retired Tampa Bay Buccaneer Mike Alstott and The Bone radio show host Mike Calta have all become fans of the couple’s cheesecakes, the release states, of which there are 20 varieties. In a clever marketing move, the Bassanos have dubbed their product the second-best cheesecake, because “don’t disrespect your mother, capisce!”

“It’s important to us that people like it,” Cindy Bassano states in the release. “In the beginning, it was all friends and family. Now when people tell me how they like our cheesecake, it’s kind of surreal. It makes me so happy. I hope after people experience our café and our cheesecake, they can’t wait to come back again.”

On Thursday, June 18, members of the Upper Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce and Safety Harbor Chamber of Commerce are scheduled to conduct a ribbon-cutting ceremony to welcome the Bassanos’ new café to downtown Safety Harbor. The next day, the couple will officially open the restaurant to the public at 6 a.m.

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