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C'est Cheese Cincy

Submitted by: Emily Frank
Business Website: http://www.cestcheesecincy.com
State: Ohio
City: Cincinnati

Business Description

C’est Cheese is the hottest food bus to hit Cincinnati. We serve up delicious gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, soups and home made pickles with a side of fun!

How does your business make a positive impact on the community?

We participate in charitable events throughout the year but our biggest is on Christmas Day when we take the food truck out into the community and feed our homeless & less fortunate neighbors. C'est Cheese provides all of the food & drink and this year we raised an additional $5,800 to buy sweatshirts, hats, gloves, toiletries and various items for each guest. We hope to continue this tradition and make an even bigger impact year after year. We have amazing relationships with our customers who have become like family to us over the 5 years we have been in business. Their support throughout the year allows us to have the means to give back in our community.

What would you do with a $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card, training, and help from a SCORE mentor to grow your business?

$1,000 at Sam's would be put towards our yearly Christmas luncheon for the homeless. We could use that money to buy even more supplies to donate or use it to make an additional donation in the summer to the local shelters.

The following responses will be considered in judging for a SCORE Award.

How has working with a SCORE mentor helped your business?

I have worked with SCORE for the last 5 years and have a close relationship with my mentor, Jane Vanderhorst. From the marketing advice to giving me the gentle nudge I need sometimes, Jane has always been there for me. Through Bad Girl Ventures, I have formed relationships with other SCORE mentors and know that I have a strong network of mentors to turn to whenever I need. They are invaluable to my business!

Have you had to overcome any obstacles along the way to build your business?

Coming from a completely different industry, it felt as if everything was an obstacle in the beginning! Financing & entering an industry that was relatively new, there were many many challenges. I tackled each one with the help of my SCORE mentor and trusting my gut. There was no bigger obstacle to overcome than the accident I was in in January 2016. Not only did I have to deal with the loss of my father in the accident, I had to learn how to run a business from my hospital room or home. I didn't walk for 6+ months and 12 months later, still cannot stand for more than a couple of hours at a time. As a food truck owner, the world and my career as I knew it came to a screeching halt. It was and still is, one day at a time.

How will you utilize the marketing video and national recognition of winning a SCORE Award to help take your business to the next level?

When I started my business in 2011, I was one of 10 food trucks in Cincinnati, OH. It was a relatively new industry and all of the truck owners had an "every man for himself" mentality. Within my first year in business, I created the Cincinnati Food Truck Association which has helped many many other trucks start their business. I am now one of 75+ trucks on the road in Cincinnati. While we have a long, positive relationship with the city and have one Best Food Truck the last 3 years, it would be great to have a marketing video to help us stand out from a very crowded field.
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