CLAYTON — Two sisters and a retiree made dessert history this month, completing a quest that not only satisfied their sweet tooth but made lasting memories along the way.
Last winter, Kate and Rachel Barth and Bill Spencer set out to have a slice of each of the 66 cheesecake flavors baked by Sherry Mitchell, owner of Sherry’s Signature Cheesecakes on Main Street. On Feb. 1, the trio enjoyed their final flavors.
Kate Barth, a freshman at East Carolina University, said she and her sister began their challenge exactly one year ago when they visited Sherry’s for Rachel’s birthday. The girls were looking for something to do together before Kate went off to college.
“We were looking through the pamphlet of flavors and thought it would be kind of cool to try all of them,” said Rachel Barth, 15, a sophomore at Clayton High School.
Regular customer Bill Spencer got wind of the sister’s quest and thought he would try too.
“I kept a list of all the flavors Sherry had,” Spencer said. “I would check each one off so I didn’t miss a thing.”
Sherry Mitchell said she hadn’t thought of creating a cheesecake challenge but soon jumped on board, printing up punch cards to pass out to willing customers.
“They were the first ones who wanted to try all of the flavors,” she said of the Barth sisters and Spencer. “I haven’t event tried them all.”
Kate, Rachel and Spencer would call the shop daily to see what flavors were available and often made several trips per week to get their dessert fix.
“My sister and I got a little competitive when we learned Mr. Bill had started the challenge,” said Kate Barth. “He caught up to us so fast.”
Spencer would purchase no fewer than three slices during each visit. He has the dubious honor of having one of the most expensive slices of cheesecake when he received a $238 speeding ticket en route to Sherry’s.
“I was on my way over and got to thinking about the cheesecake and how good it was going to be,” Spencer said.
Last Saturday, the trio took their final bites in front of a crowd gathered outside of Sherry’s. Their flavors were Peaches & Cream for Kate, Irish Cream for Rachel and chocolate for Spencer. Mitchell presented each a shirt to commemorate the accomplishment and had their names engraved on a plaque.
All three agreed they would never tire of cheesecake.
“I’m real happy that I’ve tried every flavor, but I’m still going to keep going back and repeating my favorites,” Spencer said.
“My sister and I have been joking that we’re going to have to do this all over again,” Kate Barth said. “I’m excited to be done, but now we’ll find something new to start that we can do together.”