In the RBA Member Spotlight series, we'll be profiling valued members of the Retail Bakers of America community.

This week, we're looking at Mickey's Pastry Shop in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Its history dates back to January of 1946, when Mickey McClenny returned from WWII. McClenny purchased the existing local bakery in downtown Goldsboro and put his name on the business.

50 years later in June of 1996, Melanie Daniels, Mickey's granddaughter, returned to Goldsboro to work in the family business. Mickey's Pastry Shop is one of a handful of bakeries in America that employs two Certified Master Bakers. Jerry Ray, Mickey's son-in-law, and Daniels received their certification in 2002 and 2003, respectively. Daniels is the first third generation CMB in the country, as well as the youngest.

Get to know Melanie Daniels and Mickey's Pastry Shop more below.

How many years have you been in business?

Mickey's Pastry Shop: 77.

What made you want to get into the baking industry/why are you passionate about baking?

After a short stent in teaching, I decided to return home to the family business. At the time my grandfather's health was declining. I took advantage of the opportunity to work alongside my grandfather, Mickey McClenny, and my dad Jerry Ray. I knew that hands-on experience was far superior to textbook teaching. For five years, three generations were able to be side-by-side on a daily basis.

What are your top-selling products/what product do you consider to be your specialty?

All of our products are made from scratch daily and we do sell a lot of long johns, cream puffs, brownies and a wide variety of cookies.

What do you see trending in the industry?

At this point, we have options for grab-and-go as well as online ordering. However, more and more of our customers are beyond satisfied with choosing from our showcases.

How has your RBA membership made a difference in your business?

Mickey's Pastry is fortunate to have been led under the watchful eyes of Certified Master Bakers. My dad and I are fortunate to have completed the certification process in 2002 and 2003, respectively. Mickey was grandfathered into the program since he had decades of baking experience under his belt. The connections and resources we have in RBA are invaluable.

What have you learned from customers over the years?

I have certainly made a lot of friends over the bakery counter. I was taught at an early age to treat everyone the same, and with respect. Mickey's has a very loyal customer base and we continue to add new customers weekly.

What are your plans for the bakery in the coming years (expansion, digital, new offerings, etc.)?

I will eventually add more technology to the business. I have never had immediate success with anything I have every done for the bakery, so I am well aware of the fact that it always takes a long time for Mickey's to catch up to things!

What do you look for when hiring staff?

As many of us are faced with staffing issues, I look for solid people with good values. If an applicant is focused about a work ethic and responsibility, then I anticipate that person to fit into our team.

What would you have done differently in starting your business/what do you wish you could tell your past self when starting your business?

Well, since I didn't start the business, I really can't give you an honest answer! I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to grow the business with construction of a new facility 20 years ago. I have also been fortunate to add equipment over the years.

Interested in learning more about becoming a member of the Retail Bakers of America? Click here.

Current RBA members, email Marlene O’ Connell ( to learn how you can be featured in an upcoming member spotlight.