Company: Embellish Desserts
Creator: Tiffany Melfi
MERAKI: How did you start your business?
I have been creating cakes and desserts since 2008. It started out for friends and family just for fun. Anytime a friend has a birthday I would create a custom cake for them based upon their personality and party theme. Guests at the party started asking about the cakes and telling their friends. I decided to turn it into a side business and now it has been spread by word of mouth.
MERAKI: What schooling did you do?
I started my schooling when I was in high school. I was able to participate in the co-op program and work at a local restaurant and cake shop. Once I graduated high school I became an apprentice at the same cake shop. I attended culinary school at George Brown College and graduated as a pastry chef in 2009.
Check out some of Tiffany’s work when she first attended George Brown College!
MERAKI: What was your journey like in order to be where you are today?
My journey into the culinary world has been very eye opening and it helped me grow as a person and an artist. My first position in a kitchen was at Landgon Hall in 2010, working there pushed me to my limits. I learned so much about the culinary world and myself that I was able to learn new techniques and play with different ingredients. I had a garden and pantry full of ingredients most people don’t typically use in desserts. I have become a stronger person and a better leader. Since I left the kitchen, I have started another career in the makeup industry. Even though the world is vastly different, I still get to express myself creatively. I am always learning new techniques that I can translate into my first love; which is food. I am hoping to branch out to create more sophisticated dessert tables with a wider variety of desserts.
MERAKI: How would you describe yourself?
I would describe myself as an artist. I am extremely passionate and creative and I put a piece of my heart and soul into everything that I do.
MERAKI: When did you know that you had a passion for it?
As young as 2 years old, I have been in the kitchen. I would stand on my tip-toes and watch my mother roll out dough for cinnamon rolls. She loved to bake and I inherited that from her. There is something so magical, watching ingredients get mixed up, rise in the oven and become something completely different. Once I could hold a rolling pin I had to get my hands in there. I’ll never forget sitting on the counter, licking the spoons of batter and eating the bowls of sugar while I helped my mother bake. Later I learned that my grandfather (on my mother’s side) was a baker in the Philippines. My uncle (also on my mother’s side) used to do all the birthday cakes for the kids parties. He loves to bake and taught my mother at a young age as well. Baking is in my blood.
MERAKI: Advice that you would pass on to someone going into the same field?
I would recommend that anyone interested in the culinary world, is to take the apprenticeship route. It’s a much faster process that is funded by the government. You benefit from working right in the environment and your schooling is condensed. You can also chose to travel around the world and experience different cultures and learn new techniques.
MERAKI: What is your dream job?
One day I would love to expand my business into event planning. I love to dabble in photography, floral design, makeup and of course baking. It would be fantastic to be able to offer an entire experience for a client with my own team of people.
MERAKI: Pros about your profession?
I love creating things with my hands; taking an idea from my head and turning it into something real. I love making things that not only look beautiful but also taste amazing. Food to me is so much more than food; it brings people together. A party just doesn’t seem complete until there is food.
MERAKI: When you’re not working What are some of your favourite things to do?
I love being active and spending time outside; hiking, kayaking and yoga.
MERAKI: Is there anything you would do differently throughout your journey?
Of course everyone would love to go back in time and change things from their past but I strongly believe I wouldn’t be the person I am today without going through all those struggles. If anything, I want to get back into a kitchen or bakery but it is never too late to change my path.
MERAKI: Where do you get your Inspirations from?
I get inspired every time I create a new dessert. Each piece I create is different and follows a different theme for a different person. No two pieces will ever be the same. I love researching and getting inspired for each cake or dessert I make.
Have a wedding coming up? What about a birthday party or baby shower? If you would love to order from Embellish desserts, Contact Tiffany from the information just below!