Kickass entrepreneur: The Front Porch
Melissa Scott Clark is not just the beautiful actress you remember from “Baywatch,” she is also the creative mind and entrepreneur behind the adorable shop The Front Porch.
Being a huge food enthusiast, it all started when she developed a line of balsamic-based jams for 11 Dean & Deluca outlets in Japan and 150 tasting rooms in Napa. One day while walking in Mission Hills, she found the perfect spot for what she knew would be her future retail and tasting shop for gourmet foods and gifts.
She presented the idea to her friend, Gina Champion-Cain, a real estate developer, who shared the same love for home-grown and home-cooked food. So after a glass of wine, the deal was signed and The Front Porch Mission Hills opened in August 2014. The retail shop and tasting room showcases a variety of handcrafted items, including specialty condiments made locally from family recipes; fine teas from China; homemade pasta sauces from Italy’s Abruzzi region; flavored, barrel-aged vinegars; first-press, unfiltered, California-grown olive oils, and a selection of luxury home and kitchen goods. And now you can enjoy their newest store in Coronado.
Q: Your most favorite product or goodie that you sell in your store?
A: I love the pasta sauces that I have manufactured in the Abruzzi region in Italy. I work with a small family owned and operated company that uses only the freshest ingredients and the most decadent heirloom tomatoes in every recipe. Of course one must have the perfect giant pasta bowl to serve it up in and those are my favorite things we carry as well -- one can never have too many bowls!
Q: Best part about doing business in San Diego?
A: The people. I love both communities my shops are currently in because of the neighbors who are incredibly supportive of us. There’s something special about being situated in a community where people care about the little things. You don’t find that in bigger cities. The weather is not too bad either.
Q: Acting vs owning a business ... the pros and cons of both.
A: Pros: Both tap into my creative side and I love that. Whether I’m pulling the right character for a script or taking on a business obstacle, I love a good challenge! Both afford me the freedom to travel the world and experience different cultures, something I’ve always loved to do. Cons: In acting you get many chances to get a good take -- it’s not reality. In business you only get one chance, so it had better be good.
Q: CEO or company that you admire and why?
A: I have always admired Nordstrom a great deal. As a consumer, I find them to be classic and timeless. But I am mostly in awe of their success in tech integration, including the website and app they have that are synced with the stores’ inventory, which allow customers to identify the closest location of specific items. Perfection.
Q: Describe your most perfect day in San Diego?
A: I travel a lot, so my perfect San Diego day is just being able to spend some time at home with my family, dogs and chickens. I love animals. Perhaps a bike ride on the beach with my husband and a bite to eat at one of my partner’s wonderful restaurants -- there are a lot to choose from now. In fact, in one day, I bought a dress at her clothing store, had a martini at her restaurant, went across the street for a coffee at her coffee shop and grabbed the ingredients for a perfect Italian meal at our retail shop. Now that is a perfect day.
Q: Motto you try to live by everyday?
A: Carpe diem! (Seize the day!). Tomorrow is promised to no one ... make the most of it.
Q: Three things you would take to a deserted island?
A: My husband. My dog. A boat!