Hillery Sawyer – Speakcheesy, Owner
Speakcheesy was founded in 2014 as a spark of an idea between three friends. Rome did not offer a late-night food option and they wanted to fill that need. What better than cheese and bread to get you through a late night in our downtown hub? Hot late-night food wasn’t the only dream, the friends wanted to create a concept that was versatile, appealed to the masses, provided comfort and took you down memory lane with the nostalgia of childhood. Together the friends incubated the idea, the name, initial menu, and branding, in just a few short weeks, by hosting a late-night pop-up grilled cheesery on Broad Street allowing customers to vote for their favorite original grilled cheese recipes with their dollars. The friends learned a lot about cheese, each other, and business over the six months they spent popping up on Broad Street. At the end of 2014 the friends chose different careers, but this was still a dream Hillery wanted to make happen! She partnered with local non-profits like the Chieftains Museum and growing local festivals like Going Caching to get the word out about her unique concept. By winter 2015, now sole owner, Hillery Sawyer had raised the $8,000 she needed to bootstrap this business from the help of friends and a quick repay loan from the Maker village. She successfully paid the loan off by March of 2016 and started booking around Rome from the parking lot of Redmond Regional to River Dog Outpost and headed off down the road to Atlanta, Athens, and even South Carolina. Now equipped with a new Teammate and husband, Benjamin Mitchell who dreams of cheese right alongside Hillery they set off for Speakcheesy’s Spring Music and Craft Festival US road tour taking the truck across state lines to over 15 music and art festivals across the south in order to fuel their expansion into a commercial prep kitchen and gastropub. In summer of 2019 Speakcheesy had the opportunity to partner with local brewery Rome City Brewing to make their gastropub dream a reality right here on Broad Street across from the space they hosted their very first pop-ups six years ago. Hillery’s heart is as big as it is cheesy. You can support Speakcheesy’s growth and journey by trying one of our many gourmet grilled cheeses or full menu at RCBC, ordering curbside or delivery, or simply grabbing a t-shirt or gift certificate for your friends and family!
Roman is one of 9 siblings born in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico to a blue-collar mother and father who migrated to the United States in search of the “American Dream”. At 9 years old, she moved to Rome in 1993 and she has considered it her home ever since. She graduated from Rome High School in 2002. After High School, she chose to be a stay at home mother to raise both of her children, Javi Roman (14) and Katelyn Roman (17). In 2004 through 2007, she worked in the medical field, working for The Harbin Clinic interpreting for the growing Spanish speaking population of Floyd County. From 2007 to 2009, she worked in retail and customer service for Lowes Home Improvement. From 2009 until now, she entered what she considers to be her career position, the insurance industry. She began in customer service and became the only team member in the history of Alfa insurance in Georgia to start as a Customer Service Rep and earn the position of business Owner/Agent. In 2016 she opened Farmers Insurance – Alma Roman Agency on 5 W 5th Ave, Rome, GA. She is happily married to Joel Paul McCool, and proud mother to 5 children: David McCool (11), Savannah McCool (20), Kassidy McCool (15), Katelyn Roman (17), and Javier Roman (14).