Today we’d like to introduce you to Jaime Melfi.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I grew up in Medford, New Jersey outside of Philadelphia. I had ambitions to design clothing and funky wedding dresses. After graduating from Appalachian State University, in Boone NC with a degree in Fine Arts, Textiles, and Marketing, I started working for Free People and Anthropologie. After years of trying to get my name out there, I realized the fashion industry just wasn’t for me. I started teaching art, doing interior design, graphic design, and really just anything creative to get my name out there. I finally made the jump into Cake Artistry and never looked back. I picked it up very quickly and it’s really all of the art forms I’ve been doing over the span of my life, just edible!
I worked for a couple bakeries in south jersey, one in particular was owned by an artist who had been on the Cake Boss. She taught the basics and gave me a lot of support and creative freedom. After that, we decided to move to Maine and I found a bakery in North Conway, New Hampshire that needed a cake artist. I worked there for 3 years and it turned into me realizing I was meant for something bigger. A year ago, we opened our doors and already had 30 weddings on the books. As of now, between weddings we’ve already done and weddings on the books, it totals close to 200 weddings! We’re growing very quickly and just working hard, every day to stay grounded and move forward. It’s important to me that we work hard but don’t lose ourselves in the meantime. We try to still do outdoor activities and enjoy living in the White Mountains as much as possible.
I’m trying to upsell on big artistic displays for desserts, as well as artistic cakes. My goal is to constantly creative something no one has ever seen. I just want to be different!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It hasn’t been a very rough ride, but it’s not easy. Our lease first started January 2017 and my boyfriend, Keith, and I were still working full time for other people while renovating the shop. That was a really hard month. We were supposed to open February 8 but the building is old and had some updates that we didn’t know it needed. We got pushed back two months and couldn’t make any money. That was a really rough time.
From there, things have actually been great. It’s unbelievably hard and every day is very long, but we love this. I was breed to be in this industry from my father who is a butcher and owned a catering company. So I’m a work horse, through and through. I do anything and everything to bring in money for this business and barely take breaks. But that’s just what you have to do!
A lot of people think this is glamorous and it’s not. But if you love it and get it will be hard going into it, then it’s great. I love being busy and I love working.
Please tell us about Autumn Nomad, Cakes & Cafe.
We are a cake studio and cafe. We have a full espresso bar, homemade pastries and cakes to go, as well as a full breakfast and lunch menu. We make all of our food in house, from scratch.
We specialize in custom cakes and wedding cakes, as well as dessert tables. We also specialize in custom, artistic art installations and displays for weddings. That really sets us apart! In addition, we do day of catering for our wedding clients and provide lunch while they’re getting ready! That has really taking off this year!
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Spending every second with my grandmother, mom-mom, who raised me and was my soul mate. We were inseparable and she passed away recently. I dedicate everything I do to her.
- Address: 18 Black Mountain Road, Jackson, New Hampshire, 03846
- Website: www.autumnnomad.com
- Phone: 603.383.8227
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @autumnnomad
- Facebook: Autumn Nomad, Cakes and Cafe
- Twitter: @autumnnomad
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