Quench Me: Melody Brandon
Melody Brandon is the co-owner and head pastry chef of the Sweet and Saucy Shop (Newport Beach and Long Beach, California). Realizing early on that her passions lay within the “world of butter, sugar, and flour”, Melody headed off to Le Cordon Bleu, then launched her very own pastry shop. Melody’s cakes and cookies have been featured on both Oprah’s and Ellen’s television shows and in numerous magazines, such as People, US and Martha Steward Weddings.
How did you get started in pastry-making?
I was a newlywed and loved baking and cooking for friends and family. I did it for more and more events, but had never thought of it as a job until I saw an ad for pastry school and it just clicked.
What inspired you to turn that passion into a store?
After working for a bakery for about 7 months and feeling like I wasn’t learning anymore, I decided to go out on my own and try to start a business out of my house, and rent a kitchen space at night for large events. I did that for about 2.5 years, and as my business grew, it was plain to see I needed to get a bakery since I couldn’t continue doing it out of my home anymore. My parents ended up partnering with me to open the bakery. My mom and I now co-own the bakery, and if it wasn’t for their support and hard work both bakeries would’ve never come to life.
Where do you find inspiration for your creations?
I find lots of inspiration from fashion or print. I love seeing different patterns or designs and trying to recreate them on cake. For desserts I find inspiration in all the different flavours of each season. I also love exploring new restaurants, cookbooks, and blogs and seeing what other people do, and then trying to put my own spin on things.
Who has influenced you the most?
I would say my parents have influenced me the most in life. They always taught me that I could do anything I wanted to in life as long as I worked hard for it. They have taught me to value people around me, and how to work as a team player, and I really think that has helped me through out the years.
What are your plans for the future?
Well we just opened up a second location in Newport Beach last year. Then about a month ago, we relocated our old Long Beach location to a new location about three times the size, which was quite an undertaking. We are so happy to now have coffee and drinks, more desserts and a fun sit-down area for people to hang out. In the future, we are playing around with the idea of making breakfast pastries as well as ice cream … so we will see!