Everything is Cheesecake
Friday to Sunday
1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Closed Monday through
4400 S. Martin Luther King
Jr. Blvd., Lansing
This new food truck will make any Lansing sweet tooth swoon.
Everything is Cheesecake does exactly as the name implies, taking staple dessert items and turning them into immaculate cheesecake creations sold in full or by the slice.
Owner Deanna Ray-Brown has been making cheesecakes since she was in high school, but never took up the hobby seriously until three years ago.
“It honestly was the weirdest thing. People started saying I was better than Cheesecake Factory so I stepped up and kept going,” Ray-Brown said.
Pursuing this, Ray-Brown said baking cheesecake became not only a business idea but a stress reliever.
“I would put on my favorite tunes and start baking. It became a great therapeutic routine.”
Despite the flashy toppings and ornamental drizzle that makes her creations photogenic, the real game changer behind Ray-Brown’s cheesecake is the crust.
“That’s the coolest part of any cheesecake for me,” Ray-Brown said. “Generic graham or chocolate is quite boring, so I’ve implemented crust options that complimented the cheesecake.”
Ray-Brown’s crust options include homemade brownie crust, spiced butter cookie crust, lemon cookie crust and maple blondie crust. She also uses cheesecake as a base for all sorts of classic desserts.
“Cheesecake compliments things like an ice cream. In my head, I constantly say ‘Why not make it into a cheesecake?’”
In addition to cheesecakes, Ray-Brown also bakes strudels and peach cobbler not as standalone items, but as toppings.
But managing a cheesecake food truck has its challenges.
“I started my business all on my own — that’s been the biggest challenge. I’ve been doing all the baking, prepping while still trying to make time to be a wife, mom and take on personal orders for whole cheesecakes. I mean, I’m not a bakery, it’s just me,” she said.
During the week, Ray-Brown bakes around 30 cheesecakes in rotational flavors. She sells out often, so it doesn’t hurt to call ahead, she suggested.
With Valentine’s day imminent, Ray-Brown will feature heart-shaped cheesecakes and dipped strawberries on sale for the holiday.
“It was so much fun as a kid to see the little messages so I thought, once again, ‘Why not make it into cheesecake?’ It could give someone something sweet to eat with a good message on it.”
Running a food truck in Lansing isn’t all about business, but supporting the community as well, she said. Every month, Ray-Brown has a day where she gives back — making a big pot of chili and handing out bowls for free to patrons.
“I probably give away free food to 50 to 100 people that day. It is more important to take care of the community we serve the best we can. My mom taught me that. It is my duty.”
Community interaction is the most rewarding part of the job, Ray-Brown said.
“The rapport with my customers solidifies everything I am doing in life. I love when people tell me how much they enjoy it. It makes me feel like this is what I’m supposed to be doing.”