MMELO CEO Wins SBA’s Small Business Person of the Year

MMELO owners Paul Freeth and Michelle Allen — Photo by Walker Evans.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) named Michelle Allen, CEO of MMELO Boutique Confections, the Small Business Person of the Year for the Central and Southern Ohio District. 

The recognition came as part of the SBA’s 30th annual National Small Business Week, which honors the impact small business owners have on the community.

“National Small Business Week is an opportunity to pay tribute to all small businesses that have pivoted beyond the pandemic with tenacity and resilience,” said District Director Everett M. Woodel Jr. 

MMELO is known for their array of treats like marshmallows, chocolates, cookies and other confections, including several options that are vegan or gluten-free. The business has taken many forms since opening in 2015 — from hosting pop-up shops at Easton during the holiday season, to a brick-and-mortar shop in Downtown Columbus.

In 2020, MMELO’s Downtown location closed its doors, like many other businesses affected by the pandemic. However, Allen pivoted and launched a pickup and delivery operation as the next phase of the business. After adding in an extended holiday pop-up run at Polaris, MMELO will wind things down at the mall to focus on continuing to build out their production space.

Allen is a 2021 graduate of SBA’s Emerging Leaders Executive Training program and has received support through organizations like ECDI Women’s Business Center of Central Ohio. She was also able to leverage various SBA-backed loan programs to stay “mellow” through COVID.

MMELO shared via facebook, “As an individual, team, and minority woman-owned business it’s an honor to receive this level of endorsement and it would be hard to overstate the depth of my gratitude.” 

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