No announcement yet.

IDYSD Cheesecake run to Sonoma Ca

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • IDYSD Cheesecake run to Sonoma Ca

    Here we are all lined up for a photo op before we take the last leg of our cruise from Napa to Sonoma.

    Our destination - a small cafe on the main street in Sonoma where they make Studebaker cheesecakes. They don't have much for signage, so if you didn't know where it was, you might drive right past it. Note the chalkboard sign out front. Kevin, the owner, is not an SDC member so you must forgive him for thinking small on the occasion (NATIONAL drive your Studebaker day)

    Just in case you didn't believe there was really such a thing as studebaker cheesecakes - here's a whole display case full of them. And they taste just as good as they look.

    And yes, Art, I will be sending you an article for Turning Wheels.
    Last edited by Sdude; 09-10-2011, 01:49 PM.
    Jon Stalnaker
    Karel Staple Chapter SDC

  • #2
    Excellent Day, Good Studes, Good People and Good cheesecake! Now on to Phase II, the Saturday night cruise at IHOP.
    Pat Dilling
    Olivehurst, CA
    Custom '53 Starlight aka STU COOL

    LS1 Engine Swap Journal:


    • #3
      Kevin apparently is the owner of the location? California franchise only?
      Last edited by rockne10; 09-10-2011, 04:02 PM.
      "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

      Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
      Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
      '33 Rockne 10,
      '51 Commander Starlight,
      '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
      '56 Sky Hawk


      • #4
        Originally posted by rockne10 View Post
        Kevin apparently is the owner of the location? California franchise only?
        That's the only place that makes them.
        Jon Stalnaker
        Karel Staple Chapter SDC


        • #5

          Nice article on the Cheesecake place and your pic's were used....

          Cheese Cake maker hopes to get some help with his cafe


          Sonoma - For cheese cake lovers, there is two basic styles of cheese cake, East Coast or "New York style" and of course
          "West Coast" or as cafe owner Kevin Fay would call his version, "California style" cheese cake.

          Fay who got his cheese cake recipe from his grandmother, said that "to me the California style of cheesecake I make is light and creamy, not as dense as the New York style." He explained a bit further, it all depends, I think upon the way it is baked."
          "I like to keep things simple, no water bath technique, that I think is silly stuff. I just bake my cheese cakes at 280 degrees." Naturally, he does have his own little bit of magic to it, but he does not want to give away his recipe.
          Kevin Fay is the owner of Studebaker Cheesecake of Sonoma, "we do things the old-fashioned sort of way," he said. "I keep it simple."

          "What I am really hoping for is someone to help me out here at the cafe," said Fay. He has been at his current location on West Napa Street in Sonoma for the past three years. "But I have been making cheese cakes and promoting this little business for more than 30 years," he said. Baking at various commercial use kitchens in the Bay Area over the years, Fay is finally pleased to be settled in one place.Studebaker Cheese cakes are 100 percent locally made and have been sold as far as Sacramento and the East Bay area.

          Originally from San Francisco, for four generations, his family would spend holidays and summers in Somoma, visiting his grandmother. "Some of my happiest memories of those times were playing domino's and eating grandma's cheese cake," he said. "Her recipe is the basis of the recipe of what I make," he said.
          Fay's basic or "naked and plain" cheese cake is the Meyer Lemon. That seems to be his most popular, next to of course, the chocolate version. That one he refers to as "The Calico." And then there is a mocha version. "Some are seasonal, he said like the white chocolate and lavender. While this reporter stopped in to visit that April afternoon, several people dropped by.
          Mr. Reader wanted to pick up his order for over three dozen mini-cheese cakes. It is for a wedding. "Kevin's cheese cakes are simple and fresh, with a clean, clear taste," he said. He likes the plain version, not too sweet.

          Courtesy of Studebaker Cafe, Sonoma, CA

          Named after the classic car, owner of Studebaker Cheesecake, Kevin Fay often has his Studebaker parked out front of the cafe.

          "Its the balance of the sour cream with the cream cheese that gives it that not too sweet flavor," he said. Fay understands the importance of farm fresh ingredients, that is why he likes to use the "Spring Hill" fresh cream cheese and sour cream from Petaluma Creamery. Gary Peter of Petaluma Creamery delivers the cream cheese and sour cream each week. Fay also sells other cheeses in his cafe from the Creamery. "They have the highest quality, he said, and they are local."
          Being local and keeping things, mellow, low-key and down-to-earth is important to Fay. "I want to provide a spot where people can relax, feel at home, no fancy frills," he said. Fay noted that over the past decade or so, Sonoma has changed a lot from the rural community of farms, orchards and lumber yards that he remembers as a kid visiting in summer, to the upscale Winery-conscious boutique the town now seems to be.
          Named after one of his favorite classic cars, "The Studebaker," is for Fay reminiscent of those summer days. A member of the Sequoia Chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club, Fay baked his cheese cake to promote the club and one of its tours in the fall of 2012."I usually have my Studebaker parked out front, so people know I am open," he said.
          Fay said that on average he makes about 1,500 a week "more or less." He usually arrives at the cafe on West Napa Street, next to Curves Fitness and Wine Country Cyclery, between just before dawn and 7 AM. Among his individual patrons like Mr. Reader and Nancy ("no last name please," she said) who think "Kevin's cheese cakes are the best tasting in the world," are local establishments like Cafe Scooteria a few blocks away, and "Oliver's Market" of Santa Rosa. Oliver's and other local-region markets are among the customers placing standing orders regularly. The drivers at Sonoma Taxi are fans of Studebaker Cheese Cakes. The simple but yet fresh taste appeals to both the sophisticated connoisseur and the everyday person.
          "I love the plain ones Kevin makes as well as his other flavors," Nancy said. "His cheese cakes are authentic-tasting, delicious and very rich," said she. "I like to get them for special occasions, like for my husband's birthday."
          She asked if Fay might write "Happy Birthday" on the cake in chocolate, he was happy to oblige and even added some extra chocolate chips on top.
          Not surprised by the generous accommodation and eagerness to please, "Kevin's cheese cakes are delicious," said friend and patron Phillip Laurio of Napa.
          He has seen the cheese cakes flow out of the kitchen and Fay's enterprise endure.
          Fay started making cheese cakes while in college at University of Oregon, in Eugene. "I would make them for a party or for friends," he said. When the requests for cheese cakes started to grow, Fay realized he had a tremendous business opportunity. "My parents were in the clothing business," he said. "They had a shop in the Laurel Village district area of San Francisco called "Young Man's Fancy."
          Gradually, Fay gained more culinary experience and fine-tuned his grandmother's recipe to what it is today.
          "I am a fan and have been for years," he said. Laurio came by from Napa to help Fay set up an electric racing car track. "Remember these?" Fay placed one of the model racing cars on the track and pushed it along. "These to me, are more fun than video games," he said.
          The cafe is very spacious and has plenty of tables, chairs and comfortable arm chairs to sink into, just as if a visitor was stopping by a friend's house for coffee.
          In addition to having a full espresso and cappuccino bar, Fay offers scones made by "Cynthia's Scones." He hopes to bring someone into the cafe to help him establish his "Studebaker Cafe" as the place for locals to haunt.
          "Running back and forth from the kitchen to the counter, is difficult for me," he said. Trying to meet the demands for cheese cake orders and then attend to potential customers stopping by is a challenge. Yet Fay is determined he will be able to get his cafe in shape and have locals making it one of their favorite spots for morning coffee.
          "I know, cheese cake can be a bit rich for something in the morning. Yet if I can get someone to help, I would like to have other items on the menu, perhaps some savory dishes," he said.

          Read more:
          HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)


          Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

          Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)


          • #6
            Jeff's post makes me think about how I'm cutting back/stopping posting new pictures online without first watermarking them somehow. Why? Some goofball on eBay is using a picture of mine to sell refrigerator magnets. He does not have my permission to do so...

            StudeDave '57
            StudeDave '57
            US Navy (retired)

            3rd Generation Stude owner/driver
            SDC Member since 1985

            past President
            Whatcom County Chapter SDC
            San Diego Chapter SDC

            past Vice President
            San Diego Chapter SDC
            North Florida Chapter SDC