You might assume that the person who created the Detroit Marshmallow Co. would love to eat the fluffy little treats herself. You would be wrong.
Michele Bezue admits she really doesn’t have a taste for marshmallows, “But I love, love, love making them,” she says.
Her little candy factory was launched after her husband complained: “Michele, our freezer is half full of marshmallows.” It was then she knew she had to either stop making them or go into business and sell them. And so she did.
Bezue’s marshmallows are not just the classic variety, but come in such flavors as Faygo Rock & Rye and peanut butter and jelly. The ingredients come from Rocky’s in the Eastern Market and Gus & Grey jams. There’s also one that’s flavored with Better Made barbecue chips. Marshmallows are sold in multiples of 16 to 20 in rice paper bags at $8.
Local ingredients and an artisanal approach are very much part of the theme, as they are for her new enterprise, Michele Bezue Confections, the dessert café that opened in February at Mack Avenue and Nottingham Road in Grosse Pointe Park just a couple of miles from the marshmallow company.
Bezue, an army brat, grew up in Hawaii and came to Michigan nearly 30 years ago with her family. She lived in Grand Rapids for several years before relocating to Detroit (with a stint back in Hawaii in between).
She worked for a few years as a retail manager for a company that operated convenience stores in three Detroit hotels prior to launching her marshmallow enterprise.
The dessert café goes well beyond the Detroit Marshmallow Co., with a seven-days-a week schedule, and brunch and lunch added to the focus on hand-crafted sweets. (The Detroit Marshmallow Co. is also open for retail sales on Saturdays.)
The new café serves the confections not just during the early hours, but also in the evening, and some people are surprised by that. However, Bezue believes people will stop by after a movie or other evening activities to wind down with dessert.
The rotating menu of eight to 12 choices includes one that is especially dear to Bezue’s heart: a guava chiffon cake from a recipe she brought from Hawaii. Other from-scratch treats include banana bourbon bread pudding, blood orange upside-down cake, and matcha (green tea) pound cake.
Everything is served with coffee from the Water Street Coffee Roaster in Kalamazoo and locally based Joseph Wesley tea. Other local food artisans represented at the café include Pete’s Chocolates, one of what she calls her “food friends” (she also serves Pete’s hot chocolate).
Café hours are 7 a.m.-6 p.m., with dessert restaurant hours from 6-10 p.m. during the week and until midnight on Friday and Saturday. Sunday brunch is served from 1-6 p.m.
It’s a daunting schedule, but with the help of four employees, she says she can do it. And she’s no marshmallow.
Michele Bezue Confections, 15324 Mack Ave., Grosse Pointe Park; 313-290-2152. The Detroit Marshmallow Co., 17215 Mack Ave., Detroit; 313-757-2593.