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Life & Work with Melitza Spies

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melitza Spies. 

Hi Melitza, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
Growing up, cooking and baking was always a big part of my life. It was one of the most important things in our family, especially being from a Puerto Rican family. Food was what connected each generation-the flavors, the traditions, sitting together around a table, the way it made you feel when you took that first bite of your favorite dish. I’ll never forget the feeling of pride I felt when I made something for my family as a young adult and seeing the look of satisfaction. Little did I know, years later, that I would pursue a career where that feeling continued and grew stronger. I grew up watching my entrepreneurial parents own various successful businesses in addition to their own careers so, naturally, I have always wanted to own my own business. I obtained my B.S. in Fashion and Textile Technology in 2009 but I always talked about going to culinary school one day. In 2010, that opportunity presented itself and I obtained my Pastry Arts certificate from the Notter School of Pastry Arts in Orlando, FL. Along with my newfound knowledge and hunger, came a move to beautiful North Carolina. I have worked at great local restaurants such as Gugelhupf in Durham and bakeries such as Dulce Cafe, also in Durham, but through it all, I knew my path would lead me to be an entrepreneur. In 2018, I officially launched Sugar Coat Baking Co. and it’s been an amazing ride since! Along with being a wife and mom of two wild boys, food is my passion and it brings me so much joy to be able to touch people’s lives through my baked goods. 

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It is never a smooth road being a small business owner but that’s what makes the best moments sweeter. When I first decided to launch, it was scary to take the plunge and register as a legit business. I was no longer doing this as a side gig and it was time to put on my big girl shoes. I had a lot of self-doubt-will people like what I bake, are my skills up to par, etc. Although I had a few years of experience under my belt, I felt like I wasn’t good enough. But that self-doubt ended up driving me to grow not only my business but my confidence in the product I am delivering to my customers. I am constantly reading, researching, practicing, testing new techniques and ideas. I am always looking to learn and improve one of my instructors always said to never stop learning, when you stop, so does your growth. 

The biggest struggle I have had with my business has been on a more personal level. Not only am I the proud owner of Sugar Coat Baking Co. but I am also a wife and mother of two young boys. These roles in my life are definitely a hard balancing act. As a business owner, my mind is always busy with new ideas, to-do lists, reminders, etc. Sugar Coat is my baby and I am always taking care of her, nurturing her, making sure she grows into what I envision. But I also have two of my own babies I need to make sure I’m pouring that same amount of love and attention so THEY can grow into amazing individuals. I think any business owner that has a family, especially a mother, knows the struggle of finding the right balance-of finding themselves in the midst of being a parent, a partner, a friend, a daughter, etc. And to me, my biggest struggle has been exactly that finding myself, my voice, my place in the world as Melitza, the creator, the pastry chef, the business owner. Sugar Coat is not only a way for me to provide people an experience or product, it is a way for me to be ME. To let myself go, to be able to express my creativity, even if it is a custom cookie order with famous characters. When I sit down and am able to create beautiful works of edible art, the world stops and I step into my realm of sugary creativity. It has been a long road from the humble beginnings of Sugar Coat Baking to what it is now but I am grateful for the full experience it has provided for me. I have obviously learned a lot about what it takes to run a successful business but I have also learned a lot about myself in this journey and a lot about giving myself, Grace. 

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Here at Sugar Coat Baking Co., I offer unique, hand-crafted pastry treats that are tailored to provide customers an opportunity to make their day or special occasion as sweet as our treats! I work out of my home kitchen which is inspected by the State to ensure I comply with all safety and health standards. I work together with the customer to create edible works of art that are handmade for each order. My specialty item is custom, decorated cookies. It is our driving force and number 1 product above everything else I offer. I offer cakes, cupcakes, and other pastry treats but I am definitely known as “the cookie girl.” I like to say that I am everyone’s local cookie dealer because, well, it just sounds cooler! My cookies are my pride and joy and I have worked hard to get to the level of skill where I am today. I look back at the first cookies I decorated and I cringe a little-they’re not bad but they’re nowhere near what I offer now. Everything I do has leveled up, from my decorating skills to photography skills to my marketing abilities. It is awesome to see the progress from day 1 until now. In an area where Home Bakers are everywhere you turn, it can feel like it’s hard to set yourself apart. I believe that a lot of people love Sugar Coat Baking because my baked goods not only look great, they taste great. I use top-notch ingredients and if something doesn’t look or taste right, it does not go to the customer, even if that means baking an extra batch of cookies or making another batch of icing. And yes, it has happened a few times over the years. I love to meet and talk to people. I like to think that I make people feel good when they come to me. I am that friend that likes to lend a hand or an ear when someone needs it and that spills over into my business. I like to make people feel good-Whether you’re buying one cookie from me at a local event or ordering a custom cookie/cake suite, I want everyone to walk away thinking “wow, what a great experience!” 

Pricing:

  • Custom Cookies (Min. 1 Dozen) Base price of $48.00/Dozen. Please Inquire for pricing.
  • Custom Cakes (6 in-12 in) Base Prices of $45-$75. Please Inquire for pricing.

Contact Info:

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