Maven to Know: Melissa Neidlinger

Melissa Neidlinger of Vino Mobile Bar travels the state meeting interesting people while pouring wine and wine-based cocktails.
Featured Image Melissa Neidlinger MAVEN TO KNOW

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Melissa Neidlinger Headshot
Melissa Neidlinger

Melissa Neidlinger, known to most as “Mel,” is a professional chef/pastry chef/mobile wine truck owner who loves to create yummy food and host events for people. Her most recent venture, Vino Mobile Bar, allows her to travel the state and meet fantastic folks while pouring wine and wine-based cocktails. Vino Mobile Bar has been around for six years, but Melissa took ownership of the company in 2021 and has loved the experiences that owning the business has brought. Over to you, Melissa! 

My Maven Superpower is … Laughing. I LOVE to laugh. Like the howling-out-loud-can’t-catch-your-breath-tears-running-down-your-face kind of laughing. I will laugh thinking about how much something made me laugh.

A fun fact about me is … I LOVE 90s R&B and hip-hop music. I listen to the Sirius XM Top 500 90s Songs of All Time and laugh remembering where I was during a particular song’s timeline. 

The best book I’ve read lately is … Non-Fiction: “Super Attractor” by Gabrielle Bernstein. Fiction: While it’s not the BEST book I’ve read, I am loving getting absorbed in the “Fallen” Series by Lauren Kate. I’m such a sucker for scifi and fantasy books. The more “coming of age,” the better. 

The skill I most want to learn is … Woodworking. I’m so fascinated by how a single block of something can be created into an amazing masterpiece.  

My first job was … Working at my family’s candy store in Evansville, IN. I did everything from make the candy to pack the candy to deliver the candy to mop the floors. Admittedly, as a teen I thought I was above the mopping, but learning all these aspects of a business helped glean that no job in a business is more important, and that to know all areas of the job helps you to respect the job and your employees even more.

Self-care habit I swear by is … S.L.E.E.P. Seriously, I LOVE naps. I also like to go the complete opposite direction and exercise until I can’t move.

My favorite non-profit to support is … The Humane Society and the World Wildlife Fund. Pretty much anything that has to do with animals I’m game. 

Melissa Neidlinger in her Vino Mobile Bar
Melissa Neidlinger

The best career advice I can offer is … Do what you love and don’t feel like you can’t stand up for what you believe in for yourself or your work. Push yourself to learn outside your comfort zone. When it gets uncomfortable, you’re doing something right.  

A purchase I’ve been loving lately is My new Turkish cotton bath towels from Bed Bath & Beyond! 

I feel most confident when … I take on a big project, complete it, and recognize I did it WELL.

My favorite local restaurant dish is … My everyday go-to is a toss-up between Cafe Patachou (“The Omelette You Can’t Refuse” — I really can’t!) and the Chicken Makhni at Fresh Indian Grill. They know me there at this point. That being said, I’m ALWAYS up to discovering new places to eat.

The thing I’ve been binging lately is … The new “The Lord of the Rings series on Amazon Prime. Sooo taken in by this mythological story.

A Maven you should know is … Mel McMahon Stone of Indiana Originals. Since our meeting, she has been nothing but a source of support and knowledge. She is a true Maven helping Indiana-owned businesses shine! 

The thing I’d like to celebrate with the Maven community is I celebrated my first year owning Vino Mobile Bar in October. It was an incredible moment recognizing I took a business that has been around for six years, kept it alive, cultivated new relationships with new clients, repeat clients and local businesses, and did it WELL.  

What’s next for me is … As most people, the last few years have brought on professional and personal challenges I could never have anticipated. I’d like to look back on these years as amazing opportunities for growth and strength instead of loss and grief. But that requires the mindset to keep looking ahead, all the while learning from the past and forgiving what (at the time) seemed like roadblocks getting in the way (perhaps that was what was guiding us to where we are now?). And so I am going to continue my path to growth — for both Vino Mobile Bar and myself.  I want to expand our mobile truck business into something more. Be it more trucks, locations, or even an event space. I also have aspirations of being a keynote speaker, content creator, and authormost likely in the fiction genre (remember my affinity for fluff books?). 


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Amanda Rooksberry is a fall editorial intern for Indy Maven. She is currently a junior at Butler University as a Theatre and Creative Media & Entertainment double major. She is very excited to be working with Indy Maven! 

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