What’s On My Desk: Melissa Ben-Ishay, Founder of Baked By Melissa Cupcakes

cupcake desk

Melissa Ben-Ishay is the founder of Baked by Melissa miniature stuffed cupcakes. Melissa began selling her quarter-sized cupcakes (each under 50 calories!) out of a pop-up window in SoHo after she was fired from her first advertising job in 2009. Only four years later, her delicious treats have flourished into a national must-have, with nine stores in New York, plus delivery nationwide. The brand recently debuted the first ever Cupcake Pod Machine backstage at New York Fashion Week.

Melissa has been featured on The Today Show and Good Morning America and participated in partnerships with top fashion and entertainment brands, including Marc Jacobs, Betsey Johnson and Entourage. Celebrity fans include Justin Timberlake, Josh Brolin and Miley Cyrus, among many others. In addition to the shop’s signature flavors, such as S’mores and Peanut Butter & Jelly, Baked by Melissa also offers customizable cupcakes and designs.

Here’s what Melissa keeps on her desk to stay inspired:

Photograph of John Lennon:

His outlook on the world changed it. I hope I can leave my own little mark on the world.

My puppy, Kush:

Unconditional love makes every day better.


I’m all about lists. At the end of every meeting I have another to-do list… and it has to be colorful.

My laptop:

Without it, I would have to sit at my desk all day. It helps me take my work with me to the kitchen :)


You never know how often you need a screwdriver until you actually have one accessible at all times. I have already used it once today.

Mr. Sketch Markers

Everything looks better in color… and these smell too!

Essie nail appliques

I don’t have time for weekly manicures, but when I have second to breathe during the day, I give myself a one-minute mani.

Sony headphones:

To listen to content for Social without disrupting my teammates.

Red Rope Licorice

Speaks for itself, no?