A Legacy of Love. The Story of Cheeza Pleeza
The story of Cheeza Pleeza is, really about my mom. There are many people who have contributed to the growth of this new type of cheese, and I am grateful, but it began with my mom
First of all, I love cheese in all its forms, but I have never been much of a pimento cheese fan. However, pimento cheese was a food that my mom and her sisters grew up having for lunch and parties. My encounters with pimento cheese happened in the years before my mom passed. During her last years in the nursing home, Mom would ask us to bring her pimento cheese or tomato sandwiches to eat. My Aunt Cris would make her homemade pimento cheese and I would take it to her.
I learned that if I wanted to enjoy lunch with Mom, then I would have to start to make a pimento cheese sandwich that had the flavor that I enjoyed. So, I began experimenting. As I made more batches, I began to play with different types of cheeses and spices
Late one Friday night in November 2016, the year after my mom passed, I made my first batch of Cheeza Pleeza. It was really a matter of desperation because I needed something to sell in my booth for the Farmer’s Market on Saturday. It had been a super crazy week and I didn’t have enough time to finish canning jam or bake. As I starting thinking of what I could take to market, I remembered what one of the other Grand Prairie vendors, Chef Susan had suggested. She said why didn’t I try making Pimento Cheese. I realized that this was doable, so off the store I went, praying all the way, praying for the inspiration to make something that folks would like enough to buy it.
Those of us who have full time jobs and still work Farmer’s Markets know that Friday night is a long work night. It was about midnight and I had just finished the first batch of Five Star and I realized that I didn’t have enough containers. So, I took all my mason jars and used them to pack the cheese. Around 3 am I started designing labels and about 430 I went to bed for an hour.
The next day I put out my samples and folks started tasting and buying it. I was sold out of my cheese in record time and was shocked! The next week I made more cheese and again, I sold out.
Fast forward, I have developed more flavors and love making seeing how much people enjoy it. Every time I make the cheeses my mom is with me. She would have loved what I was doing and would have been my biggest fan. The legacy of Cheeza Pleeza is one that came from a simple lunch of shared sandwiches and great love.