OCCUPATION Owner, Mel’s Downtown Creamery.
RESIDENCE Colchester, Conn.
BORN, RAISED & GREW UP IN Born in New London, raised and grew up in Westerly.
FAVORITE WAY TO SPEND MY TIME With my husband, Dennis.
PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT Opening my own business; Mel’s Downtown Creamery in the community in which I grew up.
WHAT I HOPE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR My big smile, kind heart and delicious ice cream treats.
TOP ITEM ON MY BUCKET LIST I would love to travel to Maui and Kauai with my husband.
ALWAYS IN MY POCKET I usually don’t have anything in my pocket since I’m normally in work clothes, but I always have in my possession (my purse) the Ammo military coin that my husband’s best friend, Rob Bailey, gave to me on our wedding day, welcoming me into the Ammo family.
WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I GREW UP I always knew that I wanted to be in business for myself. I just didn’t know until recently that the business was an ice cream shop.
PERSON WHO HAS INFLUENCED ME THE MOST My former boss, Ken Schneider. He taught me that you can work hard, run a business, love what you do, have fun doing it and enjoy your family time. I strive to be as successful both in business and in life as he has been.
FAVORITE AUTHOR Nicholas Sparks.
LAST BOOK READ I’m currently reading two books. “What to Expect When Your Expecting,” in preparation for the new addition to our family come January, and “The Starlight Club,” by Joe Corso, an author whom I had the pleasure of meeting this summer at the Creamery.
FAVORITE SONG “I’m Alive,” by Kenny Chesney with Dave Matthews.
FAVORITE MOVIE “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.”
FAVORITE TV SHOW “Friends.”
FAVORITE PET My 14-year-old Samoyed named Jeter.
FAVORITE FOOD Stuffed shells.
AMOUNT OF TIME I SPEND A DAY ON FACEBOOK Too Much!
TRAIT I MOST ADMIRE Kindness.
PET PEEVE When drivers don’t stop for pedestrians in/on the crosswalk.
FAVORITE QUOTATION “Never start a business just to ‘make money.’ Start a business to make a difference.” — Marie Forleo.
MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT OUR LITTLE CORNER OF THE WORLD I love how this community takes care of its own and rallies around one another when needed no matter how big — like Super Storm Sandy — or small the task!
CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT My family and friends.
LITTLE-KNOWN FACT ABOUT ME I love ice cream! It’s kind of an obsession. I have ice cream earrings that I wear every day for good luck, ice cream pens, the ceramic ice cream cones from Get Fired Up, and even an Ice cream-opoly game, the ice cream version of Monopoly. Everything ice cream makes me smile, including eating it!
BEST ADVICE I’VE EVER RECEIVED If you work hard for what you have, you’ll appreciate it that much more and take better care of it.
ADVICE I BEST LIKE TO GIVE Everything happens for a reason. You may not know what the reason is today, but there is always a reason. There is always someone out there who has it worse than you may think you have it in that moment.
IF I RULED THE WORLD I WOULD Implement a work schedule for everyone that puts more focus on the family unit and living life.
IF I WON THE LOTTERY, THE FIRST THING I WOULD DO IS I would do a happy dance and pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.
I DRIVE A 2013 gray Chevrolet Equinox from McGill Chevrolet.
I WISH I DROVE A Volvo XC90.
ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE Ice cream and milk.
IF I COULD HAVE DINNER AND A CONVERSATION WITH ANYONE IN THE WORLD I WOULD CHOOSE I would love to sit down with Jennifer Anniston. Not only am I a huge “Friends” fan, but she’s a successful businesswoman, a philanthropist and has gracefully overcome adversity in both her career and personal life. I feel like she would have a wealth of knowledge.
— Interview conducted and edited by Nancy Burns-Fusaro