Melissa is the owner and creative mind behind iKneadLove, a full service, from-scratch bakery. After running another bakery for almost four years, she was ready to move out on her own and, as such, iKneadLove was born on June 18th 2013.
Melissa was born and raised in Orange County, CA and comes from a “foodie” family with strong ties to the food industry. Her father's side of the family made commercial ovens for the home consumer. Melissa has also followed in the passion of her great grandmother on her mother’s side who received her master's degree in institutional foods from Columbia in the 1920s. Since then, generation to generation has been cooking and appreciating quality food that is good for the heart and soul.
Melissa got her start after working her first “big” job since graduating Chapman University with a degree in Business Administration. Frustrated with not finding a right fit for her in the marketing world, she chose to go to culinary school at the Art Institute of California-Orange County. She received an Associate's Degree in Culinary Arts and a Diploma in Baking and Pastries in 2008, graduating with honors in both disciplines. During her start she worked in fine dining establishments such as Zov's Bistro and Bakery and Charlie Palmer's at South Coast Plaza. When the economy started crashing Melissa was able to find a job with a chain cafe and bakery focused on serving corporate offices where she worked her way up to a general manager position within one year of being employed with the company. She's been running a bakery ever since.
This is a dream come true for Melissa and would it not be for the support of her amazing family and friends none of this would be possible. Come down soon to check us out.