Well January has come and gone. We brought in the new year, the groundhog has declared our inevitable future, and like most of you, we have already given up on our New Year’s resolutions. Between surviving the holidays, a wedding, a honeymoon and a birthday, my healthy notions had no chance. I was almost in diet desolation as I strolled the grocery aisle looking at things like rice cakes and celery. *Cringe* Then it hit me! I remembered a place where my nutritional calibration and taste buds had met. In an instant I was revived, I knew what the answer was, and Spade and I are here to share it with you.
Just a short jaunt off the 224 strip down Market Street in Boardman you will find a healthy haven in the Colony Square Plaza. Sweet Melissa’s is an unassuming, quaint café in the Boardman area. The space has been recently expanded to accommodate more seating and public restrooms. They serve salads, soups, wraps and dips to name a few, but what’s always on the menu is love. Business owner Melissa (hence the name) pours her whole self into this place. She reminds me of that one friend’s mom growing up that would never let you leave their house without eating something. You know—the one that would always let you spend the night even if it was the umpteenth time. She has a classy, sophisticated, and fun vibe that radiates into every inch of this place. She has a heart for her customers that doesn’t happen often. She really gets to know them personally and serves them perfectly. The whole crew here at Sweet Melissa’s is energetic, thoughtful and hospitable. We especially loved her foil, friend and crew member— “Salty Melissa,” she definitely adds a little spice to the mix.
When it comes to the menu here, we couldn’t find something we didn’t like. We gorged ourselves on tasty, healthy goodies the day we visited. This is quite a miracle seeing as how Spade normally won’t touch a salad. One of our favorites was the “Bacon and Bleu” salad. I’m not quite sure this qualifies as a salad except for the fact that its on a bed of lettuce. Its covered in bacon and bleu cheese crumbles with red onions and cinnamon sugar pecans. It’s a beautiful mix of sweet and savory shielded in an apple cider vinaigrette. You know that moment when you eat through the delicious crust of a salad where all the toppings and dressings live? Come to find out it was all a sham and all your left with is uninteresting, insipid core of lettuce? Well my friends, Sweet Melissa must be some type of salad sorcerous because there wasn’t one bite of this green haven that wasn’t bursting with flavor. It will have you wanting to lick the bottom of the plate when no one’s looking. She also serves a number of wraps and sandwiches. One I’d love to try on my next encounter is the fried bologna. It takes a special person to make a good fried bologna sandwich and I’m sure the team at Sweet Melissa’s qualifies. For all of you carbo hating crazy people out there, she has also added lettuce wraps to the menu. You can now get your favorite sandwich bread-less. Seems sacrilegious, but to each there own I suppose. For dessert make sure to grab a fresh, home-baked cookie, it’s a delectable finish to your healthy desires. Before you leave, you have to remember to grab one of their infamous hand-crafted dips too and share the love with all of your friends, family and co-workers.
The food at Sweet Melissa’s is made by hand, from scratch, and with wholesome ingredients. This is the way food was meant to be made and eaten. While store-bought, frozen food was the craze of the mid-century and we allowed it to demean our digestive endeavors for the next couple of decades—that gig is up. Its time to go back to our roots. Sweet Melissa’s provides that service for us at a reasonable cost. She has surely created something special for our community to enjoy. So, whether you’re looking for a lunch spot to enjoy the afternoon with a friend, or planning a post-workout smash session—this is the place to be.