Wanna Make Dan Groobert Smile? Just Say Cheesecake
First there was the Chipwich, the most decadent thing on the street. Then came the DoveBar, more sinful than Sodom and Gomorrah put together. Now Daniel Groobert has come up with a product that makes its predecessors seem as harmless as a couple of celery sticks. Groobert has taken cheesecake—rich, creamy cheesecake dipped in Dutch chocolate and coated with cinnamon-flavored graham crackers—and put it on a stick.
Groobert's creation sells for about $2 and packs a serious 325 calories. "It's better than sex," he says. That claim may be hard to substantiate, but Trends Cheesecake on a Stick is testing well in 1,000 yupscale gourmet groceries along the East Coast.
Groobert, 28, got his antidietetic idea five years ago, when he was an executive sous-chef in Hartford. Stricken by the munchies one evening, he started to eat a piece of cheesecake, decided it was too dry and added melted chocolate and graham cracker crumbs. Et voilà! Caloric history was made. After moving to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Groobert got himself a partner and enough investors to put more than $1 million into his dream. In fact Groobert has spent so much money that he had to give up his apartment and move in with his mother. His mother, ironically, is a dietician, although Groobert says that never cramped his style as a kid. "I used to sleepwalk to the fridge," he says. "The food business was a natural."
Since Groobert has his cake and eats it too, he bicycles 10 to 20 miles a day. His fiancée, Tara Cannon, 29, says she has put on 12 pounds and no longer can fit into her wedding dress. Still, as Groobert is fond of observing, cheesecake will always find a way. "You can seduce people with the right food," he says. "Who needs candles and lights?"
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