Starting in a rented kitchen, Melinda’s Biscotti began with six customers and 3 flavours. No, the business has grown to serve over a million pieces in hundreds of locations beyond BC, all coming from a small bakery on the end of a peninsula on beautiful Vancouver Island in British Columbia.
Alun and Melinda Hodgson
It was eight years ago when Melinda made her first biscotti for her family, she really didn’t know where this journey would lead her. When she brought some snacks to work everyone thought it was so good that she should bring it to coffee shops in Victoria. Initially she saw it as a way to make enough money to take her girls to Disneyland and with an oven and mixer and lots of determination her plan was underway. It took a while to get started but soon the biscotti was found in five local shops near Sidney where she lived. After a year of steady orders Alun joined the business and they decided to make a go of it. While Melinda stayed at her day job at the hospital and worked nights and weekends at home they renovated their garage into a commercial bakery and for three years they kept going. By that time the deliveries were going out to eighty-five coffee shops up to Nanaimo and people were noticing it as far away as Toronto, the little garage bakery was starting to feel a bit small. It was time to make a change, so Melinda took a leave from her job, the pair leased a commercial space to build a larger bakery, they added a tiny coffee shop to the front and went to work. Their first big change was adding grocery stores to their customer base, with sample in hand the first grocery chain to carry their biscotti was Thrifty Foods soon followed by Country Grocer and Quality Foods and Marketplace IGA in Vancouver. Business was ramping up, more coffee shops were carrying Melinda’s Biscotti and soon product was being shipped through distribution, they even added a few regular customers as far away as Toronto. Rumour has it that even the president of Italy has enjoyed Melinda’s Biscotti, we know the Snowbirds have! Eventually even that space started to become too small, so at the end of a three year lease Melinda and Alun, with the help of many wonderful customers and friends, picked up the business and moved it down the street to the current location where they have an even bigger coffee shop and a larger space to supply over three hundred customers, in four provinces. With the extra space, a wrapping machine was added and a dough depositor was installed to help make and wrap almost two thousand biscotti every day.