Pillowy Perfection - Alexx Shuman of Nomadic Kitchen brings a confectionary classic to new levels12/09/2022 02:17PM ● By TAY GREENLEAF
A CHANGE OF SPIRIT
Despite a love for marshmallows since she was a girl, Alexx hadn’t always imagined becoming Vermont’s first marshmallow confectionery. It took about 10 years of culinary school, food writing, and marketing to finally realize the one thing she was most passionate about. “I was home for the holidays one year making marshmallows with my mom,” explains Alexx, “ I’d made them before, but this time I saw Alexx Shuman of Nomadic Kitchen brings a confectionary classic to new levels them in a new light– through the lense of every diverse experience I’d had throughout my 20s.” With her epiphany, Alexx spent a furious three days making three unique recipes, launching a website, and gathering friends and family to be her first customers. After seeing such a positive response within the first week, Alexx never turned back, and found herself with a full blown business three months later.
While some might find marshmallows to be a niche market, Alexx sees them as a gateway to good memories. “ I want to give folks moments of childlike wonder,” explains Alexx. While many of us grew up with the mass-produced, supermarket marshmallows, Nomadic Kitchen strives to give you the sweet treat you have been missing all along. With no preservatives or dyes, and made fresh daily, the word to best describe Alexx’s confectionery is soulful. “I want people to be able to taste the love and intention behind all my products,” says Alexx, “ We’re making marshmallows as magical as our memories.”
This is not just your average marshmallow. While toasted marshmallows are a classic, Alexx also boasts a revolving door of seasonal staples like Strawberry Rose, Spiced Pumpkin, and Buttered Rum. The company also has some best sellers that continue “Marshmallows became my vehicle for creativity,” says Alexx Shuman, “They are an opportunity to spread joy–a chance to surprise people." Founder (and affectionately known as the “Marshmallow girl”) for Nomadic Kitchen, Alexx has watched her love for the sticky, comfort confectionery turn into an entrepreneurial dream. Pillowy Perfection year ‘round. “I call our Dulce de Leche Marshmallows our “gateway marshmallow.” It’s the flavor that launched the company and has been the fan favorite since day one.” On how Alexx gets her recipe ideas, she explains that it’s all in keeping the right balance. Her inspiration comes from everything from holidays to her favorite cookbooks–always keeping in mind what ingredients will work well in a bite sized package while keeping the perfect pillowy texture.
Despite the outpouring of orders and support, Alexx claims she has no desire to set up roots and create a storefront. “It’s never been part of our mission–that’s part of the reason we’re called Nomadic Kitchen; we aren’t looking to be tied down.” Based online with popup shops and events along the way, Alexx justifies this type of virtual business from her past experience with the lack of flexibility and work/life balance that comes with brick and mortar shops and restaurants. To date, Alexx has partnered with over 50 stores for wholesale distribution, but mainly works from her online shop for direct sales to her customer base.
As for expanding her production, she has a lot of dreams on the horizon in 2023. Hoping to receive funding to build their own kitchen and warehouse space, Alexx hopes this step will streamline production and make it easier for her and her team to do operations. On a more personal level, Alexx says she would love to step back enough to write her own cookbook and share the love. “ I never want to sacrifice the quality of my product or the quality of life for my team,” says Alexx. The secret ingredient isa perfect balance.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF PETE CURIALLE CATHLENE IRISH, ISORA LITHGOW AND COLETTE KULIG