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

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.

“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.