Hiya! I'm Jocelyn Salvatoriello...the Founder + Baker here at MINT + MALLOW kitchen.
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So you want to know a little more about me and how I became the expert baker I am today? Well then, let’s start at the beginning…
(Enter the first cake I ever made shown above, which was for my mom’s birthday. Straight lines weren’t my strong suit, but it’s the thought that counts...right?)
Needless to say, I have always had a true love for baking ever since I was a little toddler covered in flour.
I was taught how to bake first and foremost by my amazing mama, so we could make every occasion special for our family and friends through sweet treats. Baking has really been a tradition in my family for generations. I have also found it to be one of the best ways to share love through those generations.
Baking has the power to connect us to those from the past who we may never have had the chance to meet through preparing their recipes, and following their traditions passed down in the kitchen.
The School Years
After spending my academic career pursuing veterinary medicine, I had an epiphany while volunteering in the Cook Islands off the coast of New Zealand. With only nine months until my college graduation, I realized my soul's desire was not to be a vet. What I really wanted to do with my time in this world was to make people happy through baking.
The Professional Years
After pastry school, the goal was hands-on experience in as many different types of kitchens as possible.
Through all that hands-on experience, I learned as much as I could about how to do what I loved - baking delicious and beautiful sweets. And most importantly, I learned how to do it in the best way possible.
After working my way through all kinds of kitchens in Chicago, I moved back to Vermont (where I went to college) to merge my experiences in the world of science and the world of pastry by designing products and developing recipes in the test kitchen at King Arthur Baking Company.
It was at this point in my career that I truly discovered the magic of playing in the kitchen. Using scientific methodology from my biology degree in combination with all my pastry school knowledge and professional kitchen experience, I was able to quite literally create happiness for family, friends, and strangers alike in the form of butter + sugar + eggs + flour (and sometimes + chocolate too of course).
After a few years of honing my recipe development skills and learning all that I could from my experienced colleagues, I started the next part of my journey. Initially, I worked in a few more kitchens like Blake Hill Preserves, Morano Gelato, and I even worked for Pete & Gerry's Eggs on recipes and tutorials as well, all with the end-goal of diversify my skillset.
During this time, I began to form what would eventually become MINT + MALLOW Kitchen. I can honestly say that starting my own business was by far the most difficult, and also most rewarding experience I could have ever imagined. And in truth, when starting out, I had no idea what a crazy ride I was in for...
The Bakery Years
Before the blog was born, I ran MINT + MALLOW as a farmer's market bakery and wedding cake business.
During the time I owned my home bakery, I gained an immense amount of knowledge about the logistics, obstacles, pitfalls, and strategies behind starting a bakery as I built and rebuilt every piece of this business on my own, multiple times over. More recently, I've brought these skills to local businesses to help them streamline their processes and allow them to work smarter, not harder.
So if you've got a blossoming home bakery business, I'm here to be a resource for you as you take that very scary, but oh-so-exciting jump into pursuing this delicious creative passions of yours.
I truly wish you all the luck in the world, and know that, that regardless of where the business is on the other end, the lessons you’ll learn throughout the process of turning your passion into your career are beyond invaluable.
Speaking of how it all turns out…despite having achieved what I thought was my true dream of opening a bakery just a few years after graduating from pastry school, I felt like it didn't quite feel the way I thought it would.
I felt like something was missing, like my creativity was stifled by the restrictions of my current business and I was being held back from a bigger mission. I wanted to not only bake the world happier, but more importantly, I wanted to teach others how to do that too.
After some soul-searching, the next manifestation of my business was born out of a simple desire to spread my creative wings while impacting as many people as possible during my time on this earth. And thus, M+M Bakery blossomed into M+M Kitchen.
The Blog Years
Now, in this new space that I’ve created here in my sweet little corner of the internet…
The heart-centered test kitchen that is the current M+M Kitchen blog is my way of putting a lifetime of pastry expertise to work to serve as many of you as I can.
Through sharing simple yet sublime recipes, I aspire to make delicious baked goods approachable and achievable for everyone. I always ensure that everything not only tastes amazing, but looks beautiful as well, and I'll teach you how to make your treats look just like the ones in the photos on this site.
After spending a little time here with me, my hope is to have you feeling confident in the kitchen. Whether you’d like to whip up a show-stopping dessert for that dinner party you’re hosting this weekend, or can’t wait to develop the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe that you've never been able to get quite right, I’m here to help you every step of the way.
I hope these tips, tools, techniques, and recipes help fuel your creative baking fire. And even more importantly, I hope they help you learn to truly embrace (as I certainly have) that there is no better way to spread love and joy than through the universal language of sweets.
Where does all this sugary magic happen, you ask?
My kitchen/photo studio/slightly-mad scientist laboratory is still based here in Vermont, just a stone’s throw from my alma mater.
I’m lucky enough to spend most of my time here with the love of my life and official taste-tester for all things that come out of the M+M oven. We married on a beautiful day in the fall of 2021 and over the next few years, we’ll be moving into our forever home complete with a brand new kitchen and studio space just across the river in New Hampshire. I can’t wait to take you all on the journey with me!
Love, light, and sweets always...