We had the good fortune of connecting with Melissa Valdez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melissa, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Well, I really wanted to give people who are lactose intolerant or just don’t do dairy a FRESH option. When I say fresh, I mean minimal ingredient, organic, gluten free, like only high quality products go into making this Milk. What goes into our bodies matters. I only want the best for my body. I love being able to show people that there are dairy free options to our favorite “classic milks” like chocolate, egg nog and of course I love getting creative and making seasonal flavors and using local fruits and teas.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve always loved cooking and I started out making this Milk for friends when I read all the ingredients in store bought Milks all for a banana bread recipe. I didn’t plan on ever being dairy free then I got diagnosed with cancer. That was the day I gave up dairy. During that downtime after sugery and through radiation I started building the business. Cashew is my personal favorite! So know if you do find your self on the milk alternative path there are delicious options out there! Oh and YES, I’m Cancer free! I love being able to include my big brother who has down syndrome in the business. He is at the Market with me every week.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Have you been to this beautiful hidden gem Miami Arizona? They have some of the best Mexican food out there and some of the best views like Besh-Ba-Gowah Ruins. Since we are halfway to young check Bruzzi Vinyard here we come! Doing a wine tour and yes, to petting those llamas!
Once it hits the weekend we have to scour Instagram for local food truck pop ups. I am a huge fan of Hot Sauce and Pepper!! They have THE BEST Califiyah wings in town!
Then we gotta take a stroll in downtown Mesa and stop by Mainstreet Harvest. They have tons of goodies all local too! My favorite goodies from here are Rauls cocina Vegan Menudo and tamales! For dessert Ferrdiggity has these delightful desert jars.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family, Mommy and Rey especially. They love and support me endlessly. You guys are my reason for working so hard. They are the taste testers and approve all the Milks.