Butchers, Bakers, & Candy Makers
Locals aim for a slice of the food industry pie
(page 10 of 10)
Company: Sweet Artisan Marshmallows
Products: Handmade, natural marshmallows
Distribution: Farmers markets; just opened licensed kitchen
Back story: Talk about a sweet inspiration. When Michele Bezue’s daughter Kelsey moved to Detroit, they considered opening a candy store. Then they came across handmade marshmallows.
At first Bezue thought, “How much better can they be?” But she was amazed at how different handmade marshmallows were compared to mass-produced ones.
So Bezue — a sort of serial entrepreneur who tried the bed and breakfast route at one point — started exploring flavored marshmallows, such as a roasted peach with brown sugar, butter, and basil — all made from scratch.
The first public test was at a Campus Martius holiday market. “I wanted to see if people had the slightest interest,” Bezue says. That led to showing up at farmers markets. They see a potentially larger market at stores and coffee shops.
Bezue was a district manager in retail, but stresses the “was” … she’s going full force into the new venture. “I’m confident it will work.”
She’s opening a commercial kitchen on Mack Avenue on Detroit’s east side. The next step? Become the “go-to” for gourmet marshmallows. “My kids crack up at me,” Bezue says. “But my plan is to build a ‘fluff’ empire.”