Cinnabon. Pizza Hut. Ben and Jerrys.
If there’s one thing Israelis love, it’s American food brands. And well many have come and failed, others have stuck and thrived. One Israeli company is hoping that their newest gamble will pay off: bringing famed Cheesecake Factory delicacies to Israel.
Dan David, the CEO of Cafe Saadi, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that 12 varieties of cheesecake from the US-based chain are already for sale in Israel, at the chain’s three stores in the North: Nazareth, Sakhnin and Kfar Baruch.
“We’ve brought chocolate, dulce de leche, red velvet, strawberry, blueberry, mousse cakes,” said David. While right now they’re only available for purchase in those stores, and as whole cakes, David said that after the Jewish holidays (which end mid-October), the company will be expanding.
“We’ll be setting up stalls in malls around the country, where we will sell whole cakes and also just slices,” he said. He added that they will also broaden the varieties available for sale. The Cheesecake Factory is known for offering more than 30 types of cheesecake.
Currently the cakes range from NIS 100 to NIS 220 depending on size and type, said David, and are made in the US and shipped to Israel.
“The same cake you’d eat there, is what you’re getting here.” David said currently the cheesecakes are not kosher, but he is working on gaining certification, which will take a few months. He would not elaborate on how the company would deal with creating an entirely kosher-certified line.
The US Cheesecake Factory headquarters did not respond to a request for comment by press time.
While the California-headquartered brand is known as a chain of restaurants, which offer a full and varied menu of savory and sweet dishes, Cafe Saadi said it is focused only on bringing the cheesecakes to Israel, not the eatery itself.
Cafe Saadi, owned by the father-and-son team of Ahmed and Muhammad Saadi, began as a specialty candy store in 1972. In 1996, they decided to explore opportunities for importing in-demand sweets and confections, like chocolates from European brands Baronie, Frey, Midor and more. From there they’ve become one of the biggest importer of specialty confections from Europe to Israel.