June 10, 2016

Morning Sun

Food Truck Friday’s new face-off challenge has added an extra facet to the weekly showcase featuring food vendors from Mt. Pleasant and around the state. For its second week, FTF had people vote between two eateries - Creme de la Creme Cupcakes and Gourmet Cupcake Shoppe.

Katie Keske, store manager of Gourmet Cupcake Shoppe, said today was the first time being a part of the event. “We really want to get out in the community and show what we have to offer,” she said.

Keske said Gourmet Cupcake Shoppe prides itself on making everything from scratch and using products grown in Michigan. The business - located at 201 1/2 E. Broadway in Mt. Pleasant - is part of a chain that also includes franchises in Bay City, Midland and Saginaw. I think it’s neat to be face-to-face with Creme de la Creme, she said. “You don’t get to try two similar products at the same time very often.”

Creme de la Creme owner Kristy Benaske and her crew were also participating in the event for the first time. “I think it’s amazing and we’re honored to do so,” she said. “I think food trucks in our area are fantastic.”

Benaske and company didn’t have a food truck or an oven at their initial outing, which she said made things “interesting.”

Creme de la Creme has been open since 2012, but last Tuesday it relocated to 612 E. Broadway in downtown Mt. Pleasant.

FTF, which is held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the parking lot at the CMURC, was created to support and accelerate food entrepreneurs at an energized event within the Great Lakes Bay Region. The event started in 2014, and after a few weeks grew to as many as 400 attendees and eight food trucks in one week, CMURC Director of Operations Elissa Richmond-Gagne said earlier in the week.

Food trucks are promoted every week in a Facebook event created by CMURC.

It is a single source of contact providing physical space and business services, and encourages interaction and partnerships.

This afternoon CMURC President and CEO Erin Strang said she believes Food Truck Fridays are a great experience for everyone because it unites a wide variety of people from kids, babies and families to older citizens and students.

“What I think is cool is it’s a great mix of the community,” she said. “Food always brings people together.”