MECA&D community members who stop by the MECA&D Cafe on Tuesday, September 6, 2016, from 11:00am–1:30pm, can enjoy a Maine-made tasting event! Jarva Cakes, co-owned by Sydney Shields '14, along with her mother and sister, offers single-serving molten chocolate lava cakes, which are the perfect pick-me-up for any chocolate cravings; just add water, mix it up, and microwave.

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Jarva Cakes Bio   Jarva Cakes Poster

Click the posters above to see the larger version. Designed by Rachel Fisk, Sodexo Coordinator at MECA&D.

During her senior year at MECA&D, Sydney's thesis work focused on her father's family business, Shields Meats and Produce, Inc. Through this process, she not only discovered the sacred values of work ethic and family history, but was inspired to join her mother's business and enhance it through her education in design and photography.

Sydney says "The discipline that MECA&D taught me -- strict deadlines, (healthy) pressure to exceed expectations, and of course technical applications -- have come in handy when being thrown into an unknown environment. Running a business owned by women also speaks to my time at MECA&D. The women studies courses I have taken while at school molded who I am as a young entrepreneur. Learning about other successful women defying social and cultural norms inspired me to stay true to my beliefs."

But most importantly, Sydney says, MECA&D taught her the ability to problem-solve: "There is never only one way to do something. Trying unconventional techniques to solve problems not only enlightens you, but builds character and experience. Even if you are seemingly led down a path of failure, you never truly fail unless you give up. MECA&D taught me just that: never give up, and preservere in times of hardship."

Sydney Shields Jarva Cakes

Jarva Cakes was established in 2013 by Michelle, Keisha, and Sydney Shields (pictured above). They are based in Lyman, Maine, and make chocolate-y handcrafted treats.