the squad

Our unique vision is made possible by our amazing staff, who have their own passions and experiences that make our product line truly unique. Read about each of us below and discover what makes Made by Lino special.

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+ MELANIE LINO

Head Baker/Owner

What does food mean to you?

Food is happiness. Being able to make a delicious meal full of flavor and thought for my community is an incredible feeling. Food brings people together, good food is memorable. Food is life.

What inspires you to cook?

The wide variety of produce & spices available to us. We take that for granted. I went to Cuba a few years ago and their spices variety were pretty non-existent. We are blessed to have the ability to cook with so many unique flavor profiles. We live in a pretty diverse country and there are plenty authentic Spanish/Asian/Indian/Italian/Middle Eastern etc. markets for us to expand our standard flavor palate and be more open minded to other cultures foods. Being aware that we live in a world full of incredible cultures is also what inspires me. I like having the ability to take what I've learned from my Dominican background and mix it in with the knowledge I've gained from the cuisine of other cultures.

What are your favorite foods/pastries?

That's really hard to pinpoint. I'm a sucker for good Indian food though. Fermented + Pickled Veggies are my weakness. Sweets wise, I really love my Sweet Empanadas, Root Veggie Tartlets and I'm borderline obsessed with Sweet Doe Vegan Bakery's Double Choco. Chip Cookies (oh! and the Blood Orange + White Chocolate ones too)

What is the best part about being in the kitchen, for you?

The ability to create unusual flavor combinations in baked goods that turn out pretty incredible; that is an amazing feeling. Working with an A1 team is pretty dope too. I am surrounded by creatives everyday. We encourage eachother to kick ass and, also, we come up with some really amazing flavor combos for sweets, salads, sandiwiches, etc. I can't do what I do without the help of my girls.

What are the things enjoy to do with your spare time?

My son is the coolest, I hang out with him on my spare time. I enjoy cooking, red wine, thrift shopping and checking out awesome small business-local restaurants/cafes

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+ LISA MANNO

Empanada Queen

What does food mean to you?

Food is not only nourishment and medicine, food is conversation with someone. To be able to provide nourishment to a stranger is a powerful tool I like to use.

What Inspires you to cook?

The possibility to create, invent, and eat new, inspiring dishes that I can share with someone else.

How did you meet Melanie?

We met on a music trip to Cuba!

What are your favorite foods/pastries?

I love lots of different desserts, the only common ingredient would be quality products and a passionate baker behind them.

What is the best part about being in the kitchen, for you?

I love to create and experiment with new flavors and new spins on old classics

What are the things enjoy to do with your spare time?

I like puppets and heavy music.

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+ SARAH RICKER

Cookie Goddess

What does food mean to you?

Connection and community. Even two people who have nothing in common may share a bond over food. Places like Lit create these small come in everyday to connect.

What Inspires you to cook?

The limitless possibilities of the culinary world. There's so much to try and experience. I also love the moment you serve someone something you made, and you get to see that look of pure joy. That always reminds me why I love what I do.

How did you meet Melanie?

We met through the local DIY pop up event scene! We were usually the only two bakers there. We bonded over our similar palates and love for good, rustic food.

What are your favorite foods/pastries?

I'm a huge fan of tacos, or a nice tempeh rueben. Oh yeah, I'm a sucker for a fresh sourdough loaf. For sweets, I love a really nice doughnut or slice of pie (any flavor!). I've also been super into the trail blazer cookies lately.

What is the best part about being in the kitchen, for you?

The creative buzzing energy shared in the kitchen is something that is very special and unique. When people work well together in a kitchen, you can really find it. And on those never ending long days, there's a sense of comradery that pulls everyone through.

What are the things enjoy to do with your spare time?

I love spending time at home with two cat babies and my partner, watching our favorite shows. I'm starting to get into gardening and growing my own food too. And curling up with a good book of course.

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+ AMANDA JIMENEZ

Salad + Sandwich Slayer

What does food mean to you?

Food is a fun way to nurture and comfort myself and others. Food is a love language.

What Inspires you to cook?

Fresh produce! It is rare to find anything eating out, that tastes better than homemade meals, made with bad-ass produce.

How did you meet Melanie?

I was just a stray tomcat that wandered in and never left ^_^

What are your favorite foods/pastries?

All the of potatoes, beets, tomatoes, brussels! And anything Made by Lino, duh.

What is the best part about being in the kitchen, for you?

Learning how to make a lot of food at once, and making as much from scratch. Basically learning how to cook real meals.

What are the things enjoy to do with your spare time?

Hang out with my dog in the garden or some outdoor adventure. Trying to make 'fetch' happen.

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+ REBECCA BUHLER

Sourdough Ciabatta Boss

What does food mean to you?

Food is something that makes me happy. I love to eat and I love to cook. When I travel, I’m usually traveling for food. I love how food brings people together, around the dinner table or in the kitchen. I remember helping my grandma and my mom with Thanksgiving dinner as a kid. It always felt special sharing that time in the kitchen with them.

What Inspires you to cook?

Whether it’s making dinner for my friends and family or working the line at a restaurant, feeding people has always made me feel really good. When someone enjoys the food you took time to prepare, it’s one of the best feeling in the whole world. I love the challenge of creating a vegan version of a traditionally non-vegan dish. That goes for both sweet and savory dishes! Whenever I learn about a new dish or go to a bakery and see something that looks really delicious, I immediately think, “How can I make that vegan?”. It’s such an amazing feeling when someone who is hesitant to try vegan food enjoys a vegan dish. It’s cool to show people eating vegan isn’t scary, boring or pretentious!

How did you meet Melanie?

We met through Sarah, who told me Lit was looking for part-time help.

What are your favorite foods/pastries?

I love any kind of noodle dish. Thai, Vietnamese, Italian… if it has noodles, I’ll eat it. I also love soft pretzels.

What is the best part about being in the kitchen, for you?

The kitchen has always been a familiar and comfortable place to me, whether it’s at home or at work. I like that spending time in the kitchen can be both relaxing and challenging. I like taking my time and really focusing on the task at hand. Creating something new or perfecting a recipe. But I also love the rush of working in a fast-paced kitchen. Streamlining your movements to produce something delicious quickly is a really fun challenge.

What are the things enjoy to do with your spare time? In my spare time, I enjoy cooking at home with my partner. We like testing out new recipes together and perfecting our own signature dishes. Music is my biggest passion (it’s a tie with food) and I enjoy supporting local DIY musicians. Currently, I play in two bands (Small Mess and Ghost Lily). I am also the volunteer coordinator for Lehigh Valley Girls Rock.