Whether it’s celebrating a holiday, giving back to our community, or just making up a reason to get creative, our KCW kitchen crew is always up for a challenge. This Veteran’s Day, our kitchen staffer Evan has cooked up an extra meaningful (and delicious) promotion to support our local community of service members.
On Thursday, November 11, we’ll be offering thick, velvety slices of Metza’s Cheesecake for sale at our Calumet cafe. Baked from a recipe handed down by Evan’s wife’s grandmother, we’re not exaggerating when we say you won’t find a better cheesecake this side of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Proceeds from each $5 slice will go to Camp Hometown Heroes, a Wisconsin-based organization that provides counseling, mentorship, and recreational opportunities to the children and families of fallen soldiers.
As a veteran of the U.S. Navy, Evan has firsthand experience with the unique challenges faced by service members returning to life as a regular citizen. After serving from 2009 to 2013, Evan returned home, only to find that it didn’t feel quite as much like home anymore.
“Everything that I had—family, friends, etc.—was all in the military. When that was gone, I felt alone. I went through some really rough times trying to hide that pain.
“Finally, I got hold of the VA—I told them my situation, they took me in, and I got the help I needed, mentally and physically. I connected with a group of veterans where we could talk about our traumas. It was everyone from 48-year-old officers who just retired, to guys like me, who just served a few years. They took us under their wing. When I got into that group, it was like being back at home again. I loved every second of it.”
Being at a great place in his life today, Evan says it only feels natural to find a way to give back in return. “It’s not even a want—it’s an obligation, a duty that I have to help.” This is particularly true, he says, in regard to the families of those who lost their lives in battle. “I know what it’s like for kids to suffer through that, because I lost a friend on deployment who left children behind. So donating to this foundation is an obligation for me. I want other vets to know that there’s somebody out there for them.”
Given that the recipe has been passed down over three generations, there’s a vow of secrecy around the ingredients that make Metza’s Cheesecake so special. But Evan says, and we can confirm, that the real star of this dynamite dessert—besides the perfect balance of sweet and tangy and a velvety texture that’ll make your eyes roll back in your head—is the crust.
“Everybody says the cheesecake crust is their favorite part, and Metza had the right idea. It’s thick, it’s a little sticky, and you get that nice crunch in every bite.”
Bring the family, bring the office, or just bring your appetite, and join us in raising our forks to the men and women who have given their lives to serve our country. As Evan reminds us, “Some days, it feels like the only time a vet gets thanked is when people have to do it on a holiday. If I can bring a light to this, and help folks think about the people who let you be in this position right now, I’m excited. It just feels good to help.”