I’m not really sure why I found the idea of craft marshmallow making so surprising. Perhaps it’s that I never really thought marshmallows were made (don’t they just come from a bag?) or maybe it’s that I never thought there was much of a market for them, but it turns out I was wrong on both counts. Nathan Clark, Chief Marshmallow Agent at Wondermade in Sanford, just cranked out his 500,000th marshmallow.
A few years ago, Clark was looking for something cute to give to his wife, Jenn, for Christmas. He found a recipe for marshmallows, whipped up a batch, and the light bulbs went off.
“We weren’t looking to start a company, but after we made our first batch we realized that they were so much better than anything we had ever bought at the store,” Clark says. “We both had this epiphany realizing that we had been duped by low quality marshmallows our whole lives.”
So, they started experimenting with specialty flavors, sought feedback from close friends and family and voila… Wondermade was made!
The Clarks have about a dozen regular and seasonal flavors of marshmallows, and they pack 16 per snazzy little gift box. They sell through their website, their Etsy store, several shops in Orlando (including Bluebird Bake Shop, Infusion Tea, and Sassafras Sweet Shoppe), and specialty shops in major cities nationwide.
“The most popular flavor is Bourbon, which we make with Maker’s Mark,” Clark says. “It’s so fun for us, experimenting with flavors. The only thing that hasn’t worked so far is watermelon. It doesn’t taste like what you think it should taste like.” With four kids eager to sample, he’s never short of testers.
The response to the marshmallows has been overwhelmingly positive and Clark chalks that up to quality. “Of course it’s easier to buy something than to make it. But when you have a marshmallow that aims for high taste and quality, it’s a world apart. They are pretty phenomenal and it’s unfortunate that the marshmallows most people encounter are with the low-end versions in the bag.”