Melissa Ben-Ishay was scared when she walked into the first commercial kitchen for baking her cupcakes. She was scared when a publisher proposed she write a cookbook. And she was terrified when the board of Baked by Melissa, the company that bears her name but had long been run by more-experienced executives, offered her the CEO role in 2019.
“It was nauseating and emotional, like in my throat,” she says. She put the “Rocky” theme on her headphones. She considered her blind spots, like her lack of finance knowledge. But she didn’t say no.