Food trucks of Mt. Pleasant: Who they are and where to find them

Whether you’ve seen them at CMURC’s Food Truck Fridays or in the parking lot of a local retailer, no one can deny the recent explosive growth of the food truck industry as more consumers are looking for opportunities to be outside after having been cooped up for so long.

We tracked down some of the community’s favorite mobile food spots in the Mt. Pleasant area to learn the story behind their businesses and how you can get your hands on some delicious cuisine.

NOM NOM Ninja

Joe Collin and Brandon Haught, co-owners of NOM NOM Ninja, started the business in 2018 with a small tent adding a custom cart in 2019. By the end of this year, they will have four mobile food units with two trailers and two trucks, increasing your chance to snag a bite of NOM NOM Ninja’s hibachi fusion cuisine.  

“We used to both work on the trailers, but we have workers now which allows us to grow,” says Haught. “We could continue to work on the trailers and be comfortable with where we’re at, but we’re trying to grow.”

Their signature hibachi wrap is traditional hibachi with a twist and finished off with their homemade YUM YUM sauce. The wrap comes with a chicken, steak, and vegetable option.

NOM NOM Ninja offers eight flavors of cheesecake made by Max and Emily's, including two exclusive flavors: Fruity NOM and CinnaNOM Crunch.“We start doing concerts and hibachi is a great idea, but you wouldn’t want to walk around with a tray, a fork, and everything in your hand while you’re at a concert,” says Haught. “So we decided to do hibachi burritos and it just took off. It was kind of like an accident.”

If you’re in the mood for something sweet, NOM NOM Ninja also offers eight different handmade Max and Emily’s cheesecakes — including two exclusive cereal-style flavors: Fruity NOM and CinnaNOM Crunch.

Ignite Donuts

If cheesecake isn’t your jam, this hot dog stand turned donut cart is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. The signature product of Ignite Donuts, the Donut Kit, offers hot, fresh donut holes with warm, flavored glazes such as maple or chocolate. Season permitting, customers can also enjoy homemade ice cream and fresh-squeezed lemonade.

Casey Croad (left), Founder and CEO of Ignite Donuts, poses for a photo with Cole Essenberg.“I just think donuts are a very interesting product that brings joy,” says Casey Croad, Founder and CEO of Ignite Donuts. “You think nostalgia and of happy times.”

The Central Michigan University (CMU) alumnus started the business with the support of his college roommates, Helping Founders Alec Czarnopys and Jakob Muntz. The trio participated in CMU’s New Venture Competition where they met John Kulhavi, Croad’s current business partner. Czarnopys and Muntz have since branched off to pursue other careers and Croad works full-time as the Marketing Director at Riverwood Resort in addition to balancing his responsibilities with Ignite Donuts.

Croad says due to the company’s student-run model and its proximity to CMU, at the moment he only employs students or recent graduates to help provide valuable experience and education that is different from the classroom.

Check out Ignite Donuts on social media at facebook.com/Ignitedonuts to see when they are in your area or find a Donut Kit in-store at Ric’s Food Center or at The Market on CMU’s campus. Visit ignitedonuts.com for more locations or for catering inquiries.   

Sweet Treats Ice Cream Trucks

This family-owned and operated business offers a variety of sweet treats ranging from ice cream sandwiches and snow cones to novelty items such as bomb pops and the Choco Taco.

Sweet Treats Ice Cream Trucks currently have two trucks, but they are working on adding a third truck to their sweet fleet.Owner of Sweet Treats Ice Cream Trucks, Kellie Fischer, says they were inspired to start the business after having never seen an ice cream truck in the Isabella County area before.

Fischer’s parents, Maryanne Keniston and Tracy Fritz, her husband, Danny, and children Haley, 22, Aaden, 13, and Alyssa, 12, also help with the business, either driving or passing out ice cream to customers.

“We thought it would be a fun way to spend time with our family while making everyone smile when we come down the street playing music or showing up to birthday parties or special events,” says Fischer.

Visit Sweet Treats Ice Cream trucks at facebook.com/Sweet-Treats-Ice-Cream-Trucks-LLC to see when they will be cruising through your community next.

Bubba-Q (Home of the Twin Turbo)

Brian Baldwin, owner of Bubba-Q (Home of the Twin Turbo).Owned by Brian Baldwin with his business partner Christopher Carswell, Bubba-Q (Home of the Twin Turbo) has been serving the Mt. Pleasant community mouthwatering barbecue since 2016.

You can find Bubba-Q in Mt. Pleasant Tuesday through Friday at Menards, every other Saturday at Sam’s Club, and downtown on the corner of Michigan and Main Streets Thursday nights from about 9:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.

Baldwin says Bubba-Q specializes in pulled pork, featured on various items such as the Pulled Port Pineapple Pita Pocket or the Squealer Sandwich. Try one of their signature barbecue sauces — Nitro BBQ Sauce (spicy), Twin Turbo BBQ Sauce (mild), or Turbo BBQ Sauce (basic). The Twin Turbo BBQ Sauce is available to purchase through facebook.com/twinturbosauce or at a Bubba-Q location.

Both of the Bubba-Q food carts offer the same menu with a third cart nearly ready to be added into circulation which Baldwin says is being redone following an incident a few years prior where it was stolen, taken on a joy ride, and ultimately damaged.

You can also get your favorite Bubba-Q meal plus an expanded menu at B&D’s Bubba-Q inside the Mobil gas station in Rosebush. The restaurant is run by Baldwin’s wife, Darcy, and is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.