Ocala, FL

From Farm to Table: Husband and wife food truck team - Jay and Tammy Cowart - serve it up at Ocala's Sweet Baby Cheeses

Amanda Clark-Rudolph

Seeking one of the freshest grilled cheeses in town? Look no further than Sweet Baby Cheeses, a mobile Ocala business!

Co-owner Jay Cowart stands in front of his Sweet Baby Cheeses Food Truck at Ocala's Downtown Market.Photo by the author

We find that just saying the name "Sweet Baby Cheeses" makes people smile and lends to a wonderful conversation." Sweet Baby Cheeses Co-owner, Jay Cowart.

From Farm to Table: Husband and wife food truck team - Jay and Tammy Cowart - serve it up at Ocala's Sweet Baby Cheeses

Which food truck would YOU choose at Ocala's Downtown Market if your three-year-old son was with you? For me, it was a no-brainer: Sweet Baby Cheeses, of course!

After my son and I devoured their delectable mac n cheese, fresh chicken grilled cheese, and artichoke dip, I followed up with Jay and Tammy to learn more about this mobile Ocala-based biz.

My three-year-old's mac n cheese from Sweet Baby Cheeses in Ocala, FL.Photo by the author
This mac and cheese is yummy!" Liam, age 3.

See NewsBreak's exclusive Q and A below:

Q. How did the company come to be?

A. "Originally, we started making our own chicken broth from our farm-raised birds. We got so much positive feedback that we decided to try out other foods.

We then started the "Farmer In The Deli" food truck (2016). We made various foods such as sandwiches and other items, but we wanted something different and more descriptive in its concept -
mainly because no one knew what to expect with that truck.

Were we farmers? (At one time, we were). Were we a deli?

As you can see, the name wasn't cohesive.

We love cheese so decided a grilled cheese truck was an interesting concept - plus there wasn't one in our area.

So, in 2020, we ran a Facebook poll for people to come up with possible names for the truck. We narrowed that down to around seven top names, then had Facebookers vote on those top names.

"Sweet Baby Cheeses won. It stuck!"

The side of the Sweet Baby Cheeses Food Truck.Photo by the author

Q. What are your top-selling products and why?

A. "Our biggest selling item is our brisket macaroni and cheese. All of our foods are made fresh by us. We slow-smoke the brisket and then lay it over our homemade macaroni and cheese. Then we top it off with our bbq sauce (made from scratch that we refer to as yum yum sauce).

People tell us our brisket tastes like it was made in Texas, and they like our macaroni and cheese because it's made from scratch.

Also, our OGC (Original Grilled Cheese) is very popular and is served with a side of Mexican Birria dipping sauce. We developed this homemade sauce so customers would have something different from the average tomato soup for dipping.

It's smokey, a little spicy, and delicious!"

Q. Why do you like working at Sweet Baby Cheeses?

A. "Both me and my wife Tammy love to cook and interact with our customers. We find that just saying the name "Sweet Baby Cheeses" makes people smile and lends to wonderful conversations.

We also appreciate the fellowship with our customers and making friends along the way."

Sweet Baby Cheeses delicious spinach dip!Photo by the author

Q. What is your business philosophy?

A. "Our philosophy is to serve great food and provide excellent customer service.

When someone walks away from our truck, we want to see a smile on their face. Customers leave knowing we'll remember their name and treat them like family at their next visit

We also love to hear feedback. Our favorite comment: "Wow, that food was delicious!"

My Grilled Cheese Chicken Sandwich from Sweet Baby Cheeses.Photo by the author

Q. How does Sweet Baby Cheeses give back to the community?

A. "When we take on an event, we do what we can to promote the facility and the other businesses at the event. We also run the Eat Street Ocala Facebook group that currently has over 3K members.

We use this group to promote food truck rallies, but it's been on hiatus due to the pandemic. However, we hosted several rallies in 2018 and 2019 and hope to start back up again soon.

When we put those on, we also promote MCAS (Marion County Animal Services), and they attend with their dogs.

We've been successful in getting some dogs adopted at the events."

Q. What was Sweet Baby Cheese's biggest challenge last year, and how did you learn from it?

A. "Our biggest challenge last year was promoting a new truck concept during a pandemic.

We learned that social media is a huge help! Getting people involved with the naming of our truck was a fun thing for everyone, and we even had the person who picked the top name stop by and meet us.

We feel that people get invested if they take part in the fun!"

Eating lunch!Photo by Allison Shaw/Unsplash

Q. What's an interesting business story you'd like to share?

A. "In addition to how we got our name, one of the funny stories is how approachable the truck is. Everyone seems to like a grilled cheese sandwich, and we believe it takes them back to their childhood.

We were recently at a gas station fueling the truck before an event. We had people actually come up to the pump and ask if we were serving and how much for a grilled cheese sandwich!

This gas station happened to have a Subway inside, so it was nice that they were willing to eat from our truck at the station when there was another choice on-premise."

Q. Where would you like to see your company in the future?

A. "Eventually, we would like to upgrade our truck to a newer model with more capabilities and hire some employees as the business grows."

The Lowdown

Meeting Jay at the Ocala Downtown Market while seeking lunch for my preschooler was a pleasant and convenient surprise.

After savoring every bite of our cheesy madness and artichoke dip, we enjoyed Jay's teddy bear welcoming nature and passion when talking about his baby: Sweet Baby Cheeses :)

We're psyched Tammy could later join in on the party. Thanks, Jay and Tammy, for sharing your Ocala business story!

#smallbusinesses #reopening #Ocalabusinesses

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Hi, I'm Amanda - a freelancing mama who writes about family, travel, holidays, and more! In addition to freelancing it up, I'm a Content Coordinator for neighborhood magazines. My favorite pastimes: Writing, slurping lattes, and playing freeze tag with my two sons.

Ocala, FL

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