Holey Moses Cheesecake Corporate Headquarters...and bakery!
Yes, there really is a Westhampton airport (Francis S. Gabreski Airport) and its been there since 1942 when a Civil Air Patrol squadron was established on a newly-built military aerodrome on the Riverhead Plains adjacent Westhampton Beach.
Today, the airport boasts one of the longest runways in the New York area and is also home to corporations, businesses, private aviation and air taxi services. One unlikely business my sister noticed when she picked up her car was called "Holy Moses Cheesecakes." When we went to return the car we decided to investigate further.
The interior of Holey Moses Cheesecakes
at Westhampton Airport
I wondered where the name came from and didn't think to ask the day I was there but I found an article from the Daily News which offered this explanation:
Why Holey Moses? Once seen the answer is obvious: Baked in a tube pan instead of a spring form, the huge, 4-inch-high cake has a hole in the middle, just like an angel food cake.
Holey Moses cheesecake appears to have been blessed from the beginning. A New.Orleans parish priest, the Rev. McManus, inherited the recipe from his housekeeper, who, having no family, willed it to the good father. It was a precious legacy; the housekeeper had for years entered her secret cheesecake recipe in national contests, winning time and again. McManus passed the formula on to his nephew, Jim McManus, a Southampton native who started baking the cakes with Chris Weber to pay for college, where he is now. And so, a legend may be aborning.
McManus and Weber still own and run the business and today their website is listed below. The cakes can be ordered online and arrive frozen or semi-frozen. See the FAQ portion of their website for all the details. They've been in business since 1988 and if you're planning on a visit the trip takes about 1.5 hours from Staten Island (without heavy traffic of course). There's also a coffeeshop at the airport (they don't serve the cheesecake) but it gets local raves.
You can write to Holey Moses Cheesecake at
#115 Gabreski Airport, Westhampton Beach, N.Y. 11978
Phone # 1-631-288-8088
Tomorrow: I try carrot soup