Tuesday, December 6, 2022
Dec. 6, 2022

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S’mores kits fire up Minnesota marshmallow business

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MINNEAPOLIS — Longtime camp counselors Mike and Christine Nelson had perfected the art of making s’mores. But after eating thousands of them, they were getting bored.

“I thought we could make them better,” says Mike Nelson. With no culinary background, just a love of cooking and years of marshmallow-roasting experience, he headed to the kitchen. The result? North Mallow, their Long Lake, Minn., business that takes handcrafted marshmallows to fluffy new heights.

The couple developed three flavors of marshmallows — caramel swirl, vanilla bean and chocolate chip — and took them on the road, starting a s’mores bar catering business. Soon the inquiries came: Where do you buy marshmallows?

That sparked another idea: Selling them. First at farmers markets, then in co-ops and now online and in major grocery chains, North Mallow’s business grew. The events kept coming — including Justin Timberlake’s Paisley Park birthday party during the 2018 Super Bowl. But the pandemic ground everything to a halt.

“I had to get creative to save our business,” Nelson says. The thought of everyone at home, perhaps around a fire, sparked an idea, and North Mallow’s custom s’mores kits, which include your choice of marshmallow, scratch-made graham crackers and a chocolate bar, were born. They were a hit.

“The s’mores kits didn’t just save our business, it brought it to a whole new level,” Nelson says. And home users can discover what he says is the key: “The marshmallows are always fluffy, and always roast perfectly.”

S’mores kits are $35, available at northmallow.com.

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