Athens State University students will soon have a new food option on campus.
Decatur restaurant Cheesecakes & More has entered into a yearlong agreement with the university in order to provide food services in the student union building. While the new location will be on campus, the business will be open to the public.
Owner Juanita Healy said the new location will feature the same setup as her current restaurant but will offer more space for customers.
“I am somewhere between panicked and excited,” Healy said. “My biggest issue right now is finding employees. We are going to need extra people.”
Healy said she has been baking her whole life. She learned by watching her mother cook and bake, and she eventually discovered the challenge of cheesecakes.
“I did a few, and people loved them,” Healy said. “Eventually, any time there was an event, people would ask me to bring a cheesecake, and it became a passion of mine.”
The different varieties of cheesecake that Healy makes now are all based on her own original recipe. She makes several other types of baked goods, like muffins, cupcakes, specialty cakes and danishes.
Cheesecakes & More also offers hot and cold sandwiches, like BLTs, paninis, chicken salad and pimento cheese.
“We are not a full restaurant, but we try to offer lots of options,” Healy said. “Our Decatur location is right across from the hospital, so we do grab-and-go lunches a lot.”
According to a legal notice set for publication in a future edition of The News Courier, Athens State entered into a food service agreement June 11 with Healy. The agreement begins July 1 and will run through June 30, 2022. The partnership may be extended by mutual agreement of both parties after that period.
Healy said she loves Athens and sees this as a great opportunity and “nice step” for her business. She said the current iteration of Cheesecakes & More has been in business for a little more than a year, but she has been selling her wares for more than a decade.
“I was contacted by a friend who works at Athens State, and they were looking for (a new restaurant),” she said. “Based on what was previously there, it seemed like a good fit, and we have gone from there. I'm looking forward to it.”