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About Escape. on Queen

Learn a little more about who we are!

Escaping the Great Mundane: Our Story

Adventure. We crave it. We fill our lives with routines that breed monotony and in time, our minds conjure up the blueprints for a small escape. Most of our plans involve tiny adjustments: a new car, a home project, summer vacations. Our adventure was different; something of mass proportion. I use the term “our” loosely. Because, to be honest, I had nothing to do with the initial vision. Heather and Melanie would talk about building this business and I would smile at them while thinking, wow, such dreamers. In my defense, I was looking at two busy moms who were investing all of themselves in their families and jobs – an ICU nurse and nurse practitioner (respectively), both with two children under the age of eight. In August of 2015, Escape. On Queen was a nameless, brewing dream – a creative outlet for two well-established caregivers. Seventeen months later, I’m writing about this journey at the desk I built, in the building we lease, of the business they own. After a double date at an escape room with their husbands in 2015, both individually began imagining what it would be like to construct their own space. Casual conversations between neighbors turned to creative thinking, which turned into concrete plans between business partners. Juggling family and work, they researched the steps to opening and running a business and after months of searching, setbacks and exciting feats, they secured our location and the plans snowballed. Melanie and Heather have poured hours of hard work and energy into this space and the product they have is something unlike any other. From the initial puzzle planning that started during late night kitchen talks after the kids were tucked into their beds, to design elements during 2am diner meetings, they’ve dreamed and achieved something truly spectacular with the support of their husbands, children, family, and friends. While this journey has certainly been an adventure, it has also been a process. At Escape. On Queen, you are part of our story and adventure and we’d love to share this process with you.

Heather Hess: Owner

Heather’s first love is her family and children, followed by her love of caring for others. Heather began her professional career in clinical research with a degree in biology from Penn State University. After working with patients in a clinical research setting, she found her true passion was caring for patients so she packed up her life in Baltimore, MD and headed home to Lancaster to complete nursing school. While juggling motherhood with two children, she completed her bachelor’s degree in nursing and maintains a career as a registered nurse. While Heather loves her nursing career, she is thrilled about the additional adventure as Escape. co-owner.

Melanie Rice: Owner

Melanie was born and raised in Indiana but after graduating from Eastern Mennonite University, she began her career and family life here in Lancaster, PA with her husband and two beautiful children. Melanie’s nursing career began with stem cell transplant patients where she fell in love with oncology and care for cancer patients and families. She went on to complete her graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania and is currently working as a nurse practitioner in addition to beginning this exciting new adventure as Escape. co-owner.

Brandon Johnson: General Manager

Hailing from Baltimore, MD before moving to York, PA, Brandon shares our love for escape games and we LOVE how he adds a little something special to almost everything here! He currently holds a degree in Humanities, Languages, & Arts from Harrisburg Area Community College. Brandon joined the EOQ family in 2018 and after 3 short years was promoted to general manager. His talents don’t end their though... He's a DJ, an ordained wedding officiate, & in his spare time he likes to karaoke & cosplay!  How cool is that?

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