Home Fashion Second Life Podcast: Melissa Ben-Ishay

Second Life Podcast: Melissa Ben-Ishay

Second Life Podcast: Melissa Ben-Ishay


Over a decade ago, bespoke mini cupcakes in an innovative range of flavors quickly became the latest dessert craze in Manhattan. The cupcakes transcended beyond the dessert, infiltrating the beauty and fashion industries as the go-to gift or event delectables, and everyone knew what Baked by Melissa was. At the helm of the namesake dessert brand is Melissa Ben-Ishay. In 2008, Ben-Ishay began selling cupcakes out of her New York City apartment and hand-delivering them throughout the city, and by 2009 Baked by Melissa opened the doors to its very first retail location, a small pickup window in SoHo. Today, she has grown the business into a certified sensation with fourteen retail locations in New York, one in Boston, and a massive e-commerce platform shipping treats nationwide for every gifting occasion. Impressively, Ben-Ishay has sold over 250 million bite-sized cupcakes to date. 

And while Ben-Ishay is known for redefining desserts, in 2021, she actually went viral on TikTok for her Green Goddess Salad, sharing her philosophy that if you get your nourishment from mealtime, you can enjoy dessert every day. Ben-Ishay’s viral moment catapulted her into a new rise to fame as a content creator on social media, where she shares everyday meals that empower her viewers in the kitchen. 

Yet back before she was leading a multimillion-dollar company and navigating her new norm in the social media spotlight, she worked in advertising as an assistant media buyer. In fact, this job ultimately led her to start baking out of her apartment as she was unexpectedly fired from the position.

Listen to the latest episode of Second Life to hear how Ben-Ishay’s career is truly the epitome of the common phrase, “when one door closes, another one opens.” And, keep scrolling to shop some of our favorite Baked by Melissa treats.


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