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Aaron Cataldo
He's The Big Cheese(cake)

M.R. Cheesecake, Aaron Cataldo

Title / Role: Owner & Cheesecake Maker
Formed in: 2020
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My successes.

My business is profitable and my family life balance is vastly improved from the crushing schedule of working at a restaurant.

What do you do?

From my mobile food trailer, I sell different flavor cheesecakes by the slice. I've also just started offering espressos, lattes and cappucinos, locally sourced from a Frederick (MD) coffee roaster. In addition, I sell full cheesecakes by order and deliver them personally. As a restaurant veteran, I'm not a fan of delivery services like Door Dash; I think they have been detrimental to the hospitality industry. When I deliver my cheesecakes, I am able to make a connection with my customer.

What inspired you to start your business?

From 2010 to 2020, I worked as a chef in a restaurant and had started making cheesecakes there. The pandemic shut the restaurant down. After being in a fast-paced restaurant environment, it was hard for me to sit still so I kept making cheesecakes. It gave me the courage to work for myself making cheesecakes. The pandemic forced me to turn what was an idea into a reality.

What's special about your business?

I sell cheesecake by the slice in a variety of flavors - both standard and creative. My 7 and 9-year old sons serve as my "flavor consultants," and have come up with a Swedish Fish Cheesecake and a Root Beer Float Cheesecake - both of which I have baked to rave reviews.

What is your relationship with SCORE? SCORE client What influenced you to seek help from SCORE?

I wanted to be able to create a business with longevity as opposed to just waking up every day and winging it. 

How SCORE helped.

Mentoring gave me the tools and confidence that I lacked to run a small business.

What's great about my mentor?

Maria's mentoring gave me the confidence that I could actually run a small business and balance it with my family life. She's all in and wants to see you succeed just as much as you want to succeed.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting a small business?

Just do it. I spent too long thinking about it. I needed to just do it. The pandemic forced my hand.

What would you tell a fellow business owner about SCORE?

Get yourself a mentor. It was great to have someone in your corner who could answer questions for me as I moved forward with my business.

Additional media
Aaron's sons and taste consultants
A cheesecake from M.R. Cheesecake
My mentors
Headshot of Maria Lewis
Maria Lewis

Hospitality Start-Up, Recovery,Transition Special Event Sales, Operations Hospitality...

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712 H St NE PMB 98848
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Washington, DC 20002
(443) 860-6194

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Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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