Manny's Cheesecake is selling building, not business

By CAROLINE GABLE

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - If you have a sweet tooth and you live in Utica, you may be very familiar with one particular corner store. Manny's Cheesecake is a long-standing mom and pop operation on the corner of Oneida Street and the Parkway.

Tough economic times are forcing this small business to change, and it is hard not to notice the big "for sale" sign posted by the door. With rising costs right outside their door at the gas station across the street, there is a constant reminder that customers' expenses are rising at a quick pace.

Meanwhile, the cost of key cheesecake ingredients are also going up.

"In the last eight years, the price of cream cheese has tripled," says Owner Richard Alpert.

Alpert has scaled back his operation since a back injury, and now many responsibilities fall on his daughter, Tiffany's, shoulders.

"My dad's is the best cheesecake I have ever tasted," Tiffany Alpert said.

With two floors and over 9,000 square feet, the asking price of the building is $299,000.

Alpert doesn't know where the "new" Manny's might go, but he's confident customers will follow his quality. Right now, the business itself isn't listed for sale, but it's time to make a change as customers incur every day rising expenses.

"I look across the street as gas is approaching $4 a gallon and it makes it very difficult for someone to buy a luxury item, which I sell," he said. "And I do sell a luxury item. It's not an item people really do need. That gas, people really do need at $4 a gallon, to go back and forth to work. So ,it has really taken an toll on my business in the last couple of years."

Alpert is committed to carrying on the family tradition of cheesecake, and he's certainly not revealing his secret recipe any time soon.

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