CALDWELL, Idaho — Whether it's a mountain camp-out or a backyard fire pit, wherever folks gather around fire, there's sure to be s'mores. And the popularity of the summertime staple was what led Russ and Stacy Nelson to create a business based around the sweet treat. It all started back in 2013, when, as Russ recalls, "Our daughter Grace was in the backyard..had some friends over, last day of 8th grade, and they were making smores. She got excited, came running in the house and said hey, we need to start a s’mores store."
The Nelsons say they had no clue what a s'mores store would look like, but once they embraced their daughter's idea, they knew exactly where they should start. "The first thing was a marshmallow," says Russ. "[We] thought if we were going to start a s’mores store, we would have to have that as the basis."
The Nelsons began dabbling with recipes they found online, and ended up crafting a unique creation they dubbed Fireside Mallows, and the treats quickly had people talking, with the Nelson's friends and family telling them they needed to start selling their product to the masses.
When it comes to what makes a Fireside Mallow different from your run-of-the-mill marshmallow, Russ says it's all about how it feels when you bite into it. "Mouth feel, when you put it in your mouth it has a different texture, that’s by design."
Every batch of the soft and gooey gourmet goodies is handcrafted and packaged out of company's snug storefront in downtown Caldwell. While the Nelsons didn't share their entire recipe for the company's sweet success, Russ did share a couple of key ingredients. "There’s a lot of air and a lot of love in these marshmallows," he says.
Other ingredients within the treats include plenty of locally-sourced goods, including sugar from Amalgamated Sugar in Nampa, Idaho-grown huckleberries, and chocolate from Weiser Classic Candy.
While Russ and Stacy admit that being a small but mighty Made in Idaho business is at times a labor of love, they are thrilled to be helping Idaho families make memories one delicious s'more at a time. "You get to hear all the stories of the camping trips," Stacy says, and from Russ: "We get pictures sent to us through social media of different events and things that we never thought people would use marshmallows for they’re using ‘em for."
If you'd like to try a Fireside Mallow for yourself, you can find them in nearly two dozen stores across the Treasure Valley, including the two brand-new Albertsons stores in Boise and Meridian, along with area D&B's.
The marshmallows come in an abundance of flavors, from toasted coconut and chocolate chip mint to huckleberry and birthday cake.
For more on Fireside Mallow and their products, visit their website here.