Christal Epps discovered that she transitions easily between assisting in surgery to assisting in the creation of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. So easily, in fact, that she and her family started a grilled cheese sandwich business, known as the Big Cheezy Grill. Their business works out of a mint green food trailer where they serve up variations of a favorite comfort food, grilled cheese.
“Things happen for a reason,” Bob Epps, Christal’s husband, said. “I thought it was just a pipe dream of Christal’s,” he added. Christal currently works as a first assistant in surgery at Eaton Rapids Medical Center, plus works per diem at McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital. She took a step back in her hospital work to further educate herself and started thinking about her “pipe dream” of opening a food truck.
That dream became reality during the Covid-19 situation. They came up with the name, a logo, and the food trailer. The menu, they decided, needed to be traditional comfort food, something people are used to, but just a little “different.” Grilled cheese was selected as the building block for their menu.
It has become a family business, with both Christal, Bob, and their two children, Trinity, 15, and Austin, who is 13. “We’ve created jobs, and a new local family business,” Christal said.
Friends gathered to taste-test their menu before they launched it to the public, and the friends gave their whole-hearted approval. They sampled grilled cheese with layers of barbequed smoked pork and macaroni and cheese, now known as the Piggy Mac. Sloppy Joe meat and macaroni and cheese make up the Maccy Joe. The Godfather features Ham, Salami, Pepperoni, peppers, and cheese.
The Big Cheezy Grill offers ten different kinds of cheese on their menu.
Along with the sandwiches they also offer nachos, hot dogs, deep-fried Oreos, salads, regular fries, and tornado (spiral) fries made from fresh potatoes, not frozen.
“If you’re looking to be on a diet, this is probably not for you,” commented Trinity Epps about the menu.
“We want to serve hearty sandwiches, we want people to be full,” Christal explained.
Their first venture with the food truck was at the Eaton Rapids Farmers Market. Parking difficulties and scheduling there led them to a new location at the NAPA Auto Parts parking lot on Main Street every Wednesday for the car shows.
They also have set up at Narrow Lake Country Store, at the St. Johns Lutheran Church, at A1 Mechanical, and have been invited to set up at Capitol Harley Davidson in Lansing. They plan to offer their services at parties, small wedding receptions, open houses, and more, but don’t ever anticipate opening a brick and mortar store.
The Big Cheezy Grill can be found on Facebook, phoned at (517) 719-2072 or by email at email@example.com.