Baked By Melissa: Tiny Cupcakes From Apartment Kitchen Baked Into A Business Empire!

Each of us wants to grow in life. However, life will not always keep us in the bed of roses. It can scar you at times. Your hope and persistence can only be the hoping hand to surf through the situation and get out of it. VOLB is themed not only to promote small businesses. We also have the responsibility to bring you great success stories that can be the best motivation for you as a person who is aspiring to achieve something in life and career. Check this inspiring journey of Melissa, founder of Baked By Melissa.

Baked By Melissa!

Melissa Ben-Ishay is a mother, pastry chef, and the creator of Baked by Melissa, a brand renowned for its distinctive, small cupcakes and confections. Driven by her love for baking from a young age and the belief that individuals should enjoy a wider variety of flavors without feeling guilty after eating, she chose to pursue her passion and established Baked by Melissa. Currently, Ben-Ishay holds the positions of President and CEO at the company.

Humble Beginnings

Prior to launching her own business, Ben-Ishay was employed at a marketing firm in New York City, a position she found unsatisfying. The moment she was let go was a revelation for her, as she shared with CNBC. While visiting her brother at his job, he proposed the idea of starting a venture together, centered around selling her cupcakes. They swiftly developed a website and took photos of the cupcakes, utilizing a white sheet as a background.

In 2008, Ben-Ishay was juggling multiple tasks: personally delivering cupcakes for taste tests, making cold calls to caterers from her bedroom, and, once she secured an order, taking the subway with a white cardboard deli box brimming with her signature tie-dye treats. At that moment, each cupcake was made in her small kitchen in New York City.


Baked by Melissa  spread the city slow and steady with tiny cupcakes in tie-dye containers over the next several years, achieving her major success after the proprietor of Cafe Bari, who had developed a fondness for these miniature cupcakes, presented Ben-Ishay with the chance to utilize his commercial kitchen in return for selling his cupcakes at a wholesale price for the New York City holiday markets.

Seven months after we founded the company, my dad drove in from Bergen County and helped me move all of my stuff from my little teeny kitchen to the basement of Cafe Bari,” she recalled at a recent CNBC event.

The proprietor of the cafe turned into a partner of Baked by Melissa, allowing the business to persist in utilizing the premises for an extended period. The natural in-person customer flow was already profitable, Ben-Ishay mentions, but as the media began to report on it, there was a queue stretching around the block. A year following its relocation to the Cafe Bari location, Baked by Melissa inaugurated its second establishment in Union Square.

Since then, Baked by Melissa has expanded into an international enterprise boasting 14 physical stores, extensive delivery services across the country, and a fan base exceeding 2.5 million on TikTok. Additionally, Ben-Ishay has assumed the position of CEO and has recently released her second cookbook titled “Come Hungry.”

Melissa Ben-Ishay launched her cupcake venture by making phone calls from her bedroom and personally delivering orders through the subway system, after being fired from a corporate role, serves as a beacon of hope for those who often succumb to challenges in life. Today, Baked by Melissa has evolved into a “cupcake empire,” boasting 14 physical stores and delivery services across the country. As the CEO of the business she established, Ben-Ishay has also achieved widespread recognition as a chef and cookbook writer, attracting millions of followers on TikTok and having her recipes featured by celebrities, extending beyond just her cupcakes. We hope her motivational story brightened your day!


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