ROGERS PARK — When the ceremonial ribbon was finally cut inside Life’s Sweet Inc. bakery in Rogers Park, years of dreaming became Melissa Merino’s reality.
Merino’s new bakery at 6621 N. Clark St. is the brick-and-mortar version of the business she’s been operating out of her home for six years. But now the world can see her elaborate custom creations — cakes, cake pops and more.
“No challenge is ever too great or too small,” her website touts. “Our cakes are guaranteed show stoppers and add that ‘Wow’ factor to any special event.”
The most popular? “Fortnite” cakes for adolescent birthday parties.
Merino attended culinary school and has an extensive background in the food industry. She has worked at several restaurants and cafes and said she gained the most knowledge when she worked at a large food distribution company.
“A lot of the positions I have held in the industry have been geared towards helping me one day become a successful business owner,” she said.
But when it comes to cakes, Merino is completely self-taught.
“It’s been a lot of trial and error and a ton of experimenting,” she said.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony came on Valentine’s Day, when she opened her doors.
The decision to open in Rogers Park was intentional.
“We have some of the sweetest neighbors I could ever ask for,” she said.
And the location is just blocks away from her son’s school.
Now that she’s opened her shop, Merino has expanded her business to serve walk-in customers and even offer breakfast fare. And yes — you can get a cupcake with your breakfast sandwich.
“It’s never too early for a cupcake,” she said. “People who want to enjoy a cupcake with breakfast are my kind of customers.”
She has also been able to introduce baking classes, and put her teaching skills to good use. For years, Merino taught high school students culinary skills with After School Matters.
Next up on her list: a children’s cake decorating class. Interested customers can sign up online for classes.
Check out more of Life’s Sweet Inc.’s recent creations:
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