The Team


Chef Melissa Downs

Chef Melissa discovered her love for making food around the age of 6. Growing up outside of Philadelphia, Melissa’s grandmother was her first teacher. Chef Melissa’s style was born in Grandma’s Polish Ukranian roots and then fused with the nearby Pennsylvania Dutch influence.

The love of food led Melissa to culinary school. Decades of working in bars and kitchens followed. When she moved to Europe to teach English, her travels furthered her knowledge of world cuisine and honed her abilities. Combining all of those experiences gave Chef Melissa the base from where she experiments in order to offer the best comfort food she can.

The story behind The Perky Pantry is: What do you want to create today? What’s available? What’s on hand? Chef Melissa will not be stuck on one thing and will always be looking for something new and different to offer her clientele. She also wants you to bring her your grandmother’s recipes and together the both of you will incorporate it into the cart’s changing menu.