Melinda Powers: The Lawyer Who Bakes!

Our client Melinda is passionate about baking and her new business has gained steady attention via word of mouth. We caught up with her yesterday to talk about baking and Melinda’s Confections…

As an attorney by training, what made you fall in love with baking?
Well, first of all, I am a foodie! I love food and have always loved cooking. My mother is an excellent home cook and she taught me everything I know. If I remember correctly, the first thing she taught me to cook was pancakes when I was about 7 years-old. I actually begged her to because on Saturday mornings I didn’t want to wait for her to wake up before I could eat.
What is your vision moving forward in the next few years?
Moving forward in the immediate future will mean no longer being a home cook and having the freedom to bake in a commercial kitchen as a licensed caterer. This will allow me to take on larger jobs that my kitchen simply cannot handle. Beyond that, my desire is to see my brand, Melinda’s Confections, grow to be very strong in the market, which will make opening a storefront practically necessary.
What makes your desserts different than others in the marketplace?
Though banana pudding (which is the signature item) is a classic dessert many know and love, I have taken the concept to a new level that many have not experienced. I began by creating a vanilla wafer from scratch rather than use store bought wafers. I have also began to incorporate other flavors such as chocolate, strawberry, raspberry and mixed berries for an added layer of flavor. These new flavors are getting great feedback. I would say that strawberry and chocolate are the current favorites. The next flavor I’m experimenting with is salted caramel. There are so many ideas I have yet to explore, but they will all be new and creative twists that people enjoy just as much (or more) than the Originale. And last, but certainly not least, everything is made with love.
What are you doing to let the world know about what you do?
There is the Facebook page, which is used to share photos that promote and chronicle the different events around town that I visit. I try my best to attend a variety of events with samples to share with others. These events have allowed me to meet so many different people. I have appeared at open mic nights, a BBQ cook-off, The Taste of Black Jacksonville (BlackExpo) and most recently, the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Jax Kitchen.
What advice would you give to someone who makes food and wants to go into business for themselves?
First, I would suggest that they have a signature dish/item, master it and add a personal touch. For instance, as I mentioned, I make vanilla wafers from scratch but I also stamp every wafer that I make with the signature ‘M’ of the brand. When people see that, they love that I went that extra mile to make it my own plus they enjoy the taste. These simple things, when taken as a whole, make the end product very memorable. I want them to remember. Without that recognition, I don’t have a brand. Beyond that, I would tell them to be prepared for the adventure of entrepreneurship.
How can I order?

You can call Melinda’s Confections at 904.357.0557 and place your order. However, it must be placed no less than 12-24 hours prior to when it is needed to ensure quality. But hurry, because our current pudding sale (25% off) is over by December 23rd.

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