A little bit about me...
Ever since I was a little girl, I always told my parents, "When I grow up I want to be a food deck-tore-aaa-tor." Translated, that's "food decorator." Or in other words, I just wanted to design things with food, specifically cakes, breads, cookies, muffins, pies, and all baked goodies.
While I was growing up, I spent many days in the kitchen baking with my great-grandma. She always gave me a mini rolling pin and a pile of pie dough to "pretend" that I was helping her with her famous strawberry pies. The smell of her pies, cinnamon rolls, and baked rolls was amazing... Yummmm. I also took some Mother-Daughter baking/cooking classes with my mom when I was still just a kiddo. I'm sure I was a terrible cook, but it was fun! Actually, when I was still in elementary school I won a giant "Best of Show" ribbon on my chocolate wacky cake. Pretty exciting to receive as a kid!
When I was a senior in high school, we were required to do a senior project that involved something "to better our hobbies, loves, etc." Hmm... what to do? On a whim, I decided to teach myself how to make a wedding cake. Not sure what prompted this, but it was quite the endeavor. I checked out a bunch of books from the library and just started reading and practicing. Then I went and watched a cake decorator at a local bakery who made wedding cakes. And then tried a 3-tiered one on my own. Even got it on the first try! Haha. Beginner's luck? During this time, I also was working two jobs for two different local bakeries. Minimum wage, but maximum fun!
While I was pursuing my undergraduate degree in Life Science with a minor in Entrepreneurship at the University of Portland in Portland, OR, I joined a program called Entrepreneurial Scholars (or E-Scholars for short). I thought, what the heck, why not try and write a business plan for a bakery?! So I did. And I went to New York City and China to interview successful bakery owners. What an adventure! Funny thing was that I had no idea how hard owning a bakery would be until I did that. I don't think I'll ever own my own bakery, but I'm sure NEVER going to give up my side baking business! Also, while involved in E-Scholars, I taught a series of baking classes on campus: Breakfast Sweets, Cookie Bouquets, and Cake Decorating. I love teaching (and as you probably have gathered by now, I love baking), so this was a blast for me to do! See the pic below of one of my classes.
Despite my love for baking, I knew that I didn't want to make it my life. I loved science and working with people FAR too much to give it up for baking. So I decided to pursue Physical Therapy School and become a physical therapist for my career... and then do my baking as my "fun" job. I couldn't think of a better combination: PT by day, baker by night. And if you've ever been in a PT office, you'll know that there's always baked goods around!! Really, it's true!
I am now working in an outpatient PT clinic in the Portland, OR area doing a job I adore! To keep my stress level down, I've continued my baking. Over the years I've done an assortment of wedding cakes, birthday cakes, other cakes, cookie bouquets, you name it, for friends, family, and friends of friends.
So that's pretty much how I got into this. And the rest is history!
I'd love to help you out and do a baking project for your next event!
Contact Melissa at any of the following:
Can't wait to hear from you!