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Days of Giveaways

Passion to Prosperity Award — Mr. Leslie’s Cheesecakes: Celebrating a Slice of Success, Locally and Beyond

It’s been said that you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. 

In Marcus Leslie’s case, it turns out you can’t build a successful business without breaking an oven. 

In 2019, while baking 100 cakes for a friend’s birthday — and breaking the family oven in the process — Leslie decided it was time to whisk up an independent entrepreneurial endeavor of his own. 

After launching his initiative at the Allen Neighborhood Center, Leslie won a $2,000 grant in 2020 from the Lansing Economic Area Partnership’s pitch competition and started his business journey. 

In addition to the storefront location at 1615 E. Kalamazoo St. in Lansing, today Mr. Leslie’s Cheesecakes are available in four Meijer small-format stores from Grand Rapids to southeast Michigan, six Meijer supercenters in the Lansing area, and several other small restaurants and shops in mid-Michigan. 

That fast-paced success is why Mr. Leslie’s Cheesecakes won the Passion to Prosperity Award in the 2023 Greater Lansing Entrepreneurial Awards. 

“When you think about food … it’s a common language we all have,” Leslie told 517 Magazine in 2022. “If there’s a disagreement you may be having, you can say, ‘Let’s eat and talk about it.’ I love that a bite of my cheesecake will shake a memory you have 10, 15 years from now.”  

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