Melissa Rodriguez, the Bistro Culinarian at Aspired Living of Prospect Heights, has no formal training in pastry-making or cake artistry, but you would never know! Melissa has worked at Aspired Living for a little over a year and she's grown into the community's favorite cake master.
From birthday celebrations to anniversary parties, Melissa continues to set the bar high in the bistro -- and residents aren't shy to submit a sweet request!
Read our Pathway Q&A with Melissa below.
Q: How did you become Aspired Living's highly demanded baker?
A: My first ever cupcake I made was just an average cake and I was so proud of myself. I started experimenting with colors and people started requesting 3D stuff. It was a mixture of experimenting and people requesting things I don't normally do.
Q: How does it feel to be appreciate by the residents?
A: It makes me feel so special. Whenever I have a cake order, I think about it all week and plan it out. Sometimes it gets so busy and it's an extra job but I love it. I love the reaction I get from the residents. They look at it and literally scream, "Oh my goodness!"
Q: What's your favorite cake?
A: I would have to say probably the rainbow cake, because I love colors and experimenting with colors. I also love Tiramisu cake.
Q: Why do you think your cakes so meaningful?
A: One of my favorite residents -- her birthday was yesterday -- and I made her a cake but I wasn't here when she got it. The next day she told me, "That cake made my day." And it makes my day hearing them say that to me. One small thing can change someone's day and that's amazing to me. I love touching the residents' hearts. I feel like they're my family members.
Check out some of Melissa's creations below and follow her cake journey at @LunasBonBons on Instagram!