Who doesn’t want a taste of the sweet life?

Most folks are looking for a chance to indulge. Even when times are tough. Maybe especially when times are tough. When the economy goes down, ice cream sales go up: in the two years after the 2008 mortgage crisis, ice cream sales went up 25%.

even when times aren’t bad, there’s never really a bad time for dessert. You can eat cake or frozen yogurt year-round in Acadiana. And that’s not just because it’s always hot. The local dessert market is on the move. Food trucks are flying around Johnston Street. That’s because a food truck is a great vehicle for a home grown dessert business. You can keep mixing and baking at home, without the trouble of operating a commercial kitchen and front of house.

Nina Marie Charles, maybe you know her from her cake baking celebrity or maybe from her food truck where she dishes up deliciously original egg rolls

Nina Marie Charles, maybe you know her from her cake baking celebrity or maybe from her Nina Creole food truck where she dishes up deliciously original egg rolls

Nina Marie Charles has taken her craft as a cake artist from her house in Carencro all the way to Netflix. She was a contestant on Is It Cake in 2022. Locally, she’s known for her elaborately designed wedding cakes and for her food truck — Nina Creole where rolls are the name of the game: she makes them sweet and savory, with Louisiana spins on a fried egg roll.

Nina grew up in Carencro and worked in insurance and disaster response for several years before launching her cake business in 2016. Nina Creole was launched in 2021.

None of this is a pot or crawfish or corn, it's all cake by Nina Marie Charles

None of this is a pot or crawfish or corn, it’s all cake by Nina Marie Charles

Of course, if you’re going to indulge, why not go big and get all the toppings. Sweet Magnolias Creamery can bring the whole frozen yogurt experience to your backyard. And my guest Charity Lewis is the one driving the truck.

Charity Lewis, maybe you know her from her fro-yo food truck Sweet Magnolia's or her Maggie's Organic Market or her community organization Magnolia Kids Club (btwMagnolia is a pet pig)

Charity Lewis, maybe you know her from her fro-yo food truck Sweet Magnolia’s or her Maggie’s Organic Market or her community organization Magnolia Kids Club (btwMagnolia is a pet pig)

Sweet Magnolias is named for a mini pig on Charity’s mini farm. The mobile fro yo truck isn’t the only venture named for Maggie the pig. Charity also operates a nonprofit — Magnolia Kids Club — and a farmers market — Maggie’s Organic Market.

Charity is originally from Detroit but moved to Louisiana after a 10-year stint in Arizona. She got the idea for the frozen yogurt shop from taking her kids to shops in Phoenix. And each summer, Sweet Magnolia’s serves a little homage to her time in Arizona: the prickly pear lemonade.

Charity Lewis, Nina Charles, Christiaan Mader, Out to Lunch at Tsunami Sushi

Charity Lewis, Nina Charles, Christiaan Mader, Out to Lunch at Tsunami Sushi

Out to Lunch Acadiana was recorded live over lunch at Tsunami Sushi in downtown Lafayette. Photos by Astor Morgan.