Melissa Wilson isn’t a Centre County native, but that isn’t stopping her from bringing her baking skills to the State College area this summer.
Originally from Washington, Wilson moved to the area with her husband, a State College native, to immerse in Happy Valley’s contrasting metropolitan feel and close-knit community. To balance her dreams of running a bakery with her young children and dogs at home, she opened a bakery on wheels.
“We loved the idea of a bakery being mobile but still being able to work from home,” Wilson said.
This isn’t Wilson’s first dabble into baking. In 2012, she harnessed her love for animals and launched a bakery that specialized in making treats for dogs, cats, and even horses. She also worked in a commercial bakery in Washington, noting the job helped fine-tune her baking skills.
Now, though, she’s calling the shots at her own bakery. However, launching a business of any kind was tough during the coronavirus pandemic. Wilson said she found difficulties in moving the mobile bakery around due to varying restrictions among municipalities.
“We didn’t expect to have to pull so many permits. Each township we want to sell in has its own forms, fees and paperwork required,” Wilson said.
On May 28, Wilson’s business finally opened, aptly named On The Go Baking Co.
Its menu contains a variety of baked goods, sweet tea, cold brew coffee and Wilson’s favorite item: gourmet caramel apples. She says that creating the caramel apples is like creating artwork since they allow her to experiment with various flavors and styles.
As a gluten-free eater, Wilson says she’s happy to have several gluten-free options on her menu like mini zucchini bread loaves. Not all menu items are gluten-free, but Wilson says she’s considering setting aside a specific day of the week when all items won’t contain gluten, which would help prevent cross-contamination.
Moving forward, Wilson says she’s excited to continue trying new flavor combinations. Even peanut butter and jelly cookies could be on the horizon.
“My goal for the bakery is to constantly bring in fresh new flavors to pair with the changing seasons,” Wilson says.
While she has help from her neighbors in sampling new products, Wilson is the only one who bakes, sells and delivers all of her products. To make that feat more impressive, all baking is done within the trailer. Though it appears tiny, everything she needs is inside.
In the following months, Wilson says she would love to take the trailer to fairs, festivals and even private events like weddings.
Over the summer, the On the Go Baking Co. trailer can be found at Hairlines by Leanne, 1318 W. College Ave., from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Wilson hopes to soon sell at Happy Valley Mini Golf. She can also occasionally be found at Brothers Pizza in Stormstown, too.
Delivery is currently offered only on occasion within the State College area. Orders can be placed by messaging the business on Facebook, calling (814) 753-1687, or sending an email to [email protected].
On days that delivery is not offered, check On the Go Baking Co.’s Facebook page to see what’s on the menu and where the trailer is.
“I think my products are unique, and the flavors speak for themselves,” Wilson said. “Starting a business is never easy, but I am hopeful we will be received well by our community.”