Small business success: This baker turned bite-size business into cupcake empire

By Small BusinessFOXBusiness

Valentine’s Day: Baked By Melissa expects to sell 1M cupcakes

Baked By Melissa’s Melissa Ben-Ishay shares her small business success story. The company has sold 100 million cupcakes since starting the business over ten years ago.

Getting fired can be traumatic, but it doesn’t have to ruin your dreams. Melissa Ben-Ishay was canned from her assistant media planning job in advertising in 2008. At the time, she didn’t realize it would be the opportunity of a lifetime.

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“I wasn’t good at it or passionate about the work I was doing,” she told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney. “But I loved tie-dye cupcakes and I was baking them for anyone and everyone.”


Ben-Ishay not only invented the tie-dye cupcake, but she turned a bite-size business into a cupcake empire, with her New York City-based brand Baked By Melissa. In just over 10 years, Ben-Ishay has sold 100 million cupcakes.

Each cupcake is handmade in one big bakery, to ensure a fresh high-quality product, and sold in smaller locations around “The Big Apple” and online.

From Cookies & Cream to Peanut Butter & Jelly, each treat is about a bite and stuffed, iced and packed proudly by some of their 250 employees. Not to mention — they are only about 50 calories each.

“You come to our bakery — it’s a labor of love and everything is there for a reason because it’s part of the flavor experience,” Ben-Ishay said.


There are a plethora of bite-size options to choose from online, from “The Cookie Lover” to  “the O.G.” ranging in price between $28 for 25 cupcakes to $135 for a 100-pack with a gift box.

Baked by Melissa recently had its biggest e-commerce day in company history, according to Ben-Ishay.

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