The Pocono Cheesecake Factory facing high demand, low staffing during holidays

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MOUNT POCONO, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A family-owned bakery in Mount Pocono is changing its way of business during the holiday season because of staffing shortages.

In the Poconos, cheesecake runs in the family.

“It’s me, my wife, my son, his fiancé, and my brother has dropped in for the holidays to help us out,” Pocono Cheesecake Factory owner Alfred Johnson said.

Johnson and his family have run the Pocono Cheesecake Factory since 1985. On Thanksgiving Eve, customers lined up waiting to order or pick up one of their famous cheesecakes.

At its busiest around the holidays, the owner tells Eyewitness News this is the first time in over 35 years that they haven’t taken over the phone orders because of staffing issues. This year all orders were made online or first come first serve at the bakery.

“It’s working out for us. Some of our customers are a little irritated by that but it’s a new reality. It’s the only way we can really accommodate the people,” Johnson said.

Johnson says they’re struggling to hire new bakers and have been eliminating some items off the menu.

“We don’t have the pastries that we normally have. We don’t have the specialty cakes that we normally have so it’s been a real challenge. This is the first time we’ve had eclairs in about a month,” Johnson said.

Despite the lack of staff people stop by from all over to grab a tasty treat, like Fiona Molloy. She was just picked up from the JFK Airport and came straight to the local bakery with her mom.

“Our house is in Gouldsboro and every time that we come up here it’s tradition every holiday that we would stop and pick up a cheesecake from here. Strawberry cheesecake is her favorite so…,” Molloy said.

And others who are making their own traditions.

“My friends and I tonight are having a little Friendsgiving so I figured I’d go pick up a cheesecake for the occasion,” University of Scranton student Jane Fiore said.

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