Nora Allen has been interested in baking all her life, but it wasn't until she attended college that she started baking professionally. In 2016 she moved to New York, where over the next couple of years worked at different restaurants, including the Standard Hotel. Here Nora met a baker named Max, and together they developed a regionally-focused grain bread programme with organic ingredients sourced from New York and the Northeast.
During this time, Nora built relationships with local farmers and was enthusiastic about developing her grain project. Although the pandemic interrupted her plans, Nora was determined to keep going. During the pandemic, she baked for her customers out of her apartment and worked tirelessly to renovate a new, functional space for her bakery. In September 2020, her hard work paid off when Mel The Bakery began welcoming its first customers.
An avid fan of Danish bread, Nora describes Danish culture as one that appreciates quality, simplicity, and functionality; one of the reasons she sees a perfect fit between Mel The Bakery and Skagerak Collection furniture. "I've always wanted to represent the quality of what was given to me because anything is always only as good as its parts. So that's the philosophy behind our bread - start with quality ingredients, treat them well and then go from there. It's the same idea with these furniture pieces - the benches are made from core teak in consideration of people and the planet. Treat them well and they will last for generations. Also, I love how teak ages in its own special way, which is also kind of true about grains and specific bread."
Mel The Bakery has settled in nicely in the neighbourhood, with locals regularly stopping by to try the newest baked goods on the menu. A little retreat in the otherwise bustling Manhattan neighbourhood, Mel the Bakery's customers can relax on a Plank Bench and Selandia tables while enjoying their pastries. "The furniture fits into this environment perfectly; people actually feel comfortable. It's not too fussy, but elegant and functional. Some make a quick stop as part of a daily routine, others just get lost here for hours sometimes. I love that."