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    Fresh Face: The Urban Farmhouse

    Melissa Houser’s passion for baking developed during childhood, with afternoons spent alongside her grandmothers—proficient bakers on their own—in their farmhouse kitchens. After college, Melissa pursued a career in social service work, but she never stopped baking.


    “My favorite dessert has always been cheesecake,” Melissa said. “And when I decided to open a dessert shop, I knew I needed something to differentiate myself from other local bakeries.”


    The Urban Farmhouse, or TUF, opened in December 2022 at 60 North Queen Street. The storefront offers a rotating selection of 60 cheesecake flavors, many stemming from favorite childhood recipes.


    However, Melissa is quick to share that TUF is more than cheesecake.


    “Yes, it’s a cheesecake specialty shop, but it’s also a place for people to connect and find common ground,” Melissa said.


    Through TUF, Melissa combines her passion for baking with her commitment to uplifting communities. Her goal is to launch a program for teens with increased risk factors that would afford them an opportunity to learn about business, food safety, and the farm to table experience in “homemade.” The TUF Project, her forthcoming initiative, is a title reflecting the resilience in the kids she’s worked with throughout her previous career.


    Find the weekly selection of by-the-slice flavors or reserve whole cheesecakes for pickup at