Jun 9, 2013

Beaver 'Mallows

You've visited our 'hood.  Now I'll let you in on where we sneak sweets when no one's looking.

Beaverdale Confections is a local small business serving all manner of handmade treats.  Sea salt chocolate and butter fudge for mom and dad, peppermint sticks, jawbreakers and jellies for the brats.  The one-room shop sits a block from her school, I wonder if this is where Pigtails' lunch money is laundered.  Was that ketchup or a lollipop mustache staining her face when I picked her up from school last week?



Without a doubt, the #1 treat people return for is the gourmet marshmallow.





If your only experience with the sticky pillows is burnt Kraft Jet Puff mashed between grahams and a slab of Hershey, we're talking Ford Pinto vs. Porsche.

I sat down with the owner, Tom, to learn how he got started and find out if nicotine's the secret ingredient that hooks us on the toasted coconut.  His four kids attend the same school as Pigtails, they wander in each evening to help bake fresh batches of candy that will be sold the next day.



Like Martha Stewart, it all began in the kitchen.  Tom used to cook up troughs of marshmallows for neighborhood block parties and BBQ cookouts.  Friends squawked for more, he began giving them as gifts, then offered them for sale from his home.

The transition from hobby to business happened one snowy Christmas.  Friends were wielding pitchforks and torches, begging for more sugar.  He said the influx of orders that holiday was high enough to nearly kiss the ceiling and cover his Christmas tree.




A Blimpie sandwich shop went belly up along the main Beaverdale strip.  Tom decided to take the plunge, leased the vacant nook, added new flavors of marshmallows and spooled up homemade fudge, truffles and salty pecan rolls.



Online business is where it's at, this spring he shipped 500 bricks of marshmallows to a Google employee promotion.  And dozens of boxes to another geekfest in Santa Clara Valley @Cali'.




I asked how companies 1,800 miles to our left know about humble little Beaverdale.  He confirmed only a few bakers in the U.S. cut high quality marshies, and word travels fast by 'net.



If you'd like to try a set, a plump pack of Beaverdale 'mellows will be offered in the upcoming B&P Bento Box.  I photoed a new batch last night, little 5-finger-discount made them be gone in minutes.


-Beard

16 comments:

  1. I LOVE these "mom n' pop" shops -- does my heart good to see the American Dream is still alive and well. My husband is contemplating a venture -- we go on a recon mission in a few weeks to Dallas to scope out hot dog carts. Being near the coast, there are plenty of opportunities to sell dogs to beach goers and the like, plus lots of small town festivals. Gotta' find the right cart in the right price range, and then quality foodstuffs to make his dream of a "gourmet" dog stand come true. I've been researching sources for organic all beef dogs -- with the different toppings he has in mind, this will be way better than any cheap mystery meat dog you'd buy at the fair. :)

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    1. Go for it!

      Sounds like a lowish risk opportunity, I always think there's risk in NOT trying out a dream.

      All beef for sure, we like Nathan's and Hebrew National, don't forget the sport peppers and fresh buns.

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    2. I'm a big fan of Hebrew National, but not sure we can get them in bulk at the right price. Scoping out Organic Prairie (http://www.organicprairie.com) as a possible source. Family owned farms, organic dogs. We'll probably order the 35 count for our 4th of July party to check them out. :D

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  2. Ohhh I am now craving marshmallows!

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    1. Drink a glass of water, it'll help with the munchies.

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  3. The marshmallows look amazing! I go weak in the knees when I see a candy store.... resistance is futile.

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    1. What flavor you want, vanilla bean, coconut, caramel, chocolate?

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  4. I think Pigtails is doing the robot up there in that first photo. Not that this is unusual activity for the two of you. :)

    On a more serious note, I fought Beard off for that last toasted coconut marshmallow. However in the interest of keeping peace, I pulled apart that gooey delight and split it with the ol' chap. I've loved marshmallows since I was a kid. These are the kind that will hook adults too!

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    1. Curls fired red laser eyeballs when I swooped in for that last co-co marshie. I don't normally get hot and bothered for Jet Puffs, but these are different. And worth a jiu-jitsu shot to the crotch to get the last one.

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    2. Jiu-jitsu to the crotch is a low blow(no pun intended here) for a marshie(we like to shorten and nickname everything in Australia) I am keen to try some of such high praise. Flavoured...who knew? So high brow. I "Googled" Beaverdale Marshmallows, Beaverdale Confection came up No. 1., BnP came up No. 2 - not bad son!!

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    3. I can ship to Australia for $24 (total of $46), let me know!

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  5. I attempted to make marshmallows one year and they looked nothing like these! Who knew there could be so many flavor choices, how do you pick just one? Or do you pick them all?

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    1. If I tried to make these at home, they'd look like a melted styrofoam plate.

      Toasted coconut is my favorite.

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  6. Um...giveaway, perhaps? ;)

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  7. I finally stopped by Beaverdale Confections, thank God they weren't there when I lived above Back Country Outfitters in 2004! Picked up a whole bunch of goodies for my dad's birthday today, can't wait to try a marshmallow!

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Thanks for the note, check back for my response!