Brianne Melcher’s Compelling Journey to Becoming a Bakery Owner

by | May 2023

WHEN BRIANNE Melcher and her husband moved their family to Manchester two years ago, they were looking for a slower pace of life to raise their children and be closer to family. Shortly after moving to the city, Brianne realized her true calling was opening her own bakery.

The daughter of two Filipino immigrants, Brianne was born in Los Angeles after her parents moved to the U.S. She spent her early childhood in Portland, Oregon. She later attended high school in Philadelphia before settling down in Cambria — a small coastal town between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Growing up, Brianne was mesmerized by the bakers behind the glass partition in her local grocery store. 

She said, “That was my favorite thing. I would run there every time we went to the grocery store and sat and watched because I was intrigued.”

Watching them decorate cakes sparked something inside of her that she couldn’t quite explain. It wouldn’t be until much later, in her early thirties, that she would finally understand what it meant.

Her story took an unexpected turn when she found herself battling alcoholism in her young adulthood and hitting “rock bottom.” Then, Brianne rediscovered her love for baking after losing almost everything. She decided to pour her heart into baking and embraced food art and decorating.

“I was just building my life over, trying to regain some of the things I had lost. And I had blown every opportunity for a career or any kind of advancement in my field.”

She started working at a coffee shop, where she eventually had to start baking due to staff shortages.

Upon recovering, Brianne decided to turn all the negative habits she had developed in the past into something positive. 

After endless hours of putting together different chocolate chip cookie recipes and allowing others to critique them, she found the one that best suited her taste and kept perfecting it. 

Despite numerous roadblocks along the way, Brianne found joy in this newfound hobby, which has grown into a purposeful career.

Photographed by Ashleigh Newnes.

“I kept baking because I felt like I found my thing. God gave me this gift specifically at a time to pull me out of the darkness, if you will. It suited my personality at the time. And it allowed me to be creative as well as learn more.” 

Now, 10 years later, Brianne has opened a bakery of her own — Bakehouse Manchester. It’s a bakery unlike any other, as it’s home to delicious baked treats and so much more. It’s a place full of hope and possibility created by someone who searched for redemption and instead found solace in something as simple and powerful as baking.

Last year, she began documenting the journey of opening a new bakery on her Facebook and Instagram pages. Through this process, she helped the community become acquainted with the bakery and some of its products and had already created long-lasting connections before its opening. 

Bakehouse is a special place where you get a specialized and personal treat to share and enjoy with loved ones. 

“Because I do a small number of things, they’re done really well. I don’t sell or bake anything unless it’s the absolute best I can do.” 

Brianne opened the bakery selling her tried and true specialized products, an assortment of cookies and cinnamon rolls baked to perfection, and custom-ordered cakes decorated with fresh, locally grown flowers. She also plans to have a seasonal rotating cake menu and gluten-free options. They’re starting with drip coffee, iced cold brew, and tea for drinks. 

By opening her bakery, Brianne hopes to create an atmosphere where everyone feels welcome to enjoy her perfectly crafted home-baked goods.

“I’m just creating a space that I would like to shop in and that I think has value.”

Brianne enjoys baking for many reasons. One is the unity it brings people of all social, racial, and economic statuses.

“I love sharing food and talking about food with people. It fosters a sense of community and connectedness that I find hard to achieve with other things.”

Baking is a light and friendly bridge that fills even the deepest gaps in our world. Brianne experienced this firsthand when she baked her first batch of cookies as a baker. 

“I feel like it saved my life.” 

From being at rock bottom to now opening her own shop for all of Manchester and beyond, Brianne’s story is a testament to the incredible power of resilience and determination. GN 

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