The simplest of American comfort food — the grilled cheese — has been perfected in Middletown.
Patrons of this summer's North End Farmers Market know it. Late-night Wesleyan University students itching for a stomach-sating snack know it. And those lucky-duck second-shift workers at the Saybrook Road Medical Center know it.
All hail the couple who own and operate the true Mecca of artisan cheese sandwiches, the Whey Station — husband and wife team Joshua and Jillian Moskites.
Their menu changes from day to day, but Joshua said there are always four to five sandwiches that remain the same. They also have three to four specials each day, he said.
Like the Caprese: fresh mozzarella, oven-roasted tomato and basil pesto. Or the Mongers's Mix: a blend of five cheeses served on classic country white bread. Ah, the Bellissimo: Red-wine poached pear, crisped prosciutto and dolce gorgonzola spread.
Jillian said they make everything from scratch except for the ketchup, which they use to make themselves. They stopped making it because they weren’t getting enough product out of the process to be worth the amount of time they were putting into the process. They started using Heinz ketchup, she said.
“People are happy with Heinz ketchup,” she said. “When you make it homemade, it doesn’t have the same color and the same look. It tastes different.”
The Moskites started their business this past April and went full-time in October.
The idea for their mobile food truck business started out as a joke, Jillian said. Their first plan was to open a restaurant, she said. Jillian said the first time they looked, there wasn’t anything they wanted. Their financing had fallen apart around that time as well, she said.
“We tried to do it again at the end of last year,” Jillian said.
At the end of 2010, they found a place they loved, she said. It was sold out from under them as they were waiting for their financing to come through. When that happened, they decided to go into the mobile food truck business since they wouldn’t have to be there seven days a week with that type of business. Owning a restaurant would have been tough with a young family, she said.
“It’s a way to do what we want on our terms, which we really like,” Jillian said. “We want that freedom.”
They try to buy their ingredients and produce locally as much as they can, she said. They like to go to farmer markets for their supplies.
The Moskites chose the name for their business to let people know their business would be cheese-oriented. It was “cute and catchy,” Jillian said.
The truck can be found evenings on William Street right near High Street. They have been located at the same spot near the Wesleyan University campus ever since they set up there the first night in April.
“Once people knew were there, we have been doing great,” Jillian said.
The Whey Station is open for business from 10:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. from Thursday through Saturday.
Jillian said their business takes credit cards through the Square credit card reader and app on her phone.
“That has been the best thing ever,” Jillian said about Square. “It’s huge for us. We get 40 credit cards a night.”
Along with running their business, they have two children, with another one due in February and two dogs.